Fall is a beautiful season with warm days, cool nights, and stunning scenery as the leaves change. The last thing you want to do while transitioning from the summer months into the autumn is think about the impending winter. Unfortunately, it’s a must for homeowners.
This time of year, you should wrap up your home maintenance and prepare for the cold months ahead. Here are some high-priority fall maintenance tasks to prepare your home for winter before the first snowflake falls.
Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up
One of the most important home maintenance tasks is scheduling a furnace tune-up, ideally before you need to turn on the heat. According to NPM – No Problem Heating and Cooling – Furnace Tune Up visits can extend the lifespan of your furnace and keep things running efficiently all winter long.
During a tune-up visit, the technician will check all the connections and belts for wear and tear, making repairs and replacements as needed. They’ll also replace the air filters, lubricate moving parts, and ensure all the safety protocols are working effectively.
Scheduling a tune-up in the fall before you end up on a waitlist is a must. You don’t want to discover that your furnace isn’t working during the first cold day of the year.
Schedule a Chimney Inspection
If you have a chimney, it’s also important to have it inspected and cleaned before the winter. Even if you had your chimney swept the previous year, there could be a build-up of debris. This blockage could cause a fire or redirect deadly carbon monoxide into your home.
Replace Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries
Perhaps the simplest and most important home maintenance task is replacing fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries. Be sure to test all of the alarms before turning on the heat.
Clean the Gutters
Cleaning the gutters is an essential fall maintenance task that often gets overlooked, especially if you live in a snowy area. Your gutters play an important role in draining snow and redirecting the moisture away from your home. Failure to do so could lead to moisture and mold in the attic or roof degradation from the weight of the snow.
Consider hiring a roofing contractor that also offers gutter cleaning to handle this task. This option also allows inspecting the roof and repairing any lost shingles to prevent leaks during the winter months.
Clean and Inventory Tools
The late fall is the perfect time to put away your gardening tools and ensure your winter tools are ready to go. Take some time to clean your tools, removing dirt and debris to prevent rust. Confirm that you have everything you need to get through the winter and replace any damaged or missing shovels.
This is also the ideal time to check on your winter equipment— such as a plow, snowblower, or generator— and service it as needed.
Check and Seal Drafts
Conduct an energy audit in your home and check for drafts and air leaks. If you don’t have a draft detector, you can often rent one from a local hardware store. Alternatively, use a candle near windows, doors, vents, and outlets to determine if a draft is present.
Once you’ve found the drafts, seal them with caulking or weather-stripping as needed. For older windows, it might be best to purchase a temporary sealing kit to get through the winter.
Restock Your Storm Kit
Finally, prepare for the worst by restocking your storm kit. Make sure you’ve stocked up on candles, batteries, salt, sand, water, generator gas, and anything else you might need to make it through.
With these fall maintenance tasks, you can transition into the winter months, knowing your home and family will be safe and warm.