Are you ready for fall? Or more importantly, is your home?
With the temperatures dropping, there are a few residential chores you need to check off. Warner Service has made it simple with 5 tiny checklists for the ultimate home maintenance guide:
Prepare for a critter takeover. With the change in season, many outdoor creatures will begin preparing for hibernation. Birds, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, stray house pets, and squirrels will navigate the cooler weather by hiding in heating and cooling units. This can disrupt the airflow, leaving your home a little chillier than the thermostat reads. Here are a few tips on how to tackle a critter takeover:
- Get rid of incentive by raking up leaves and fallen berries, trimming tree branches, and closing trash can lids.
- Install small motion-sensor lights, sound emitters, and a timed or motion-activated sprinkler system to alarm scurrying animals.
- Relocate garden away from outdoor HVAC unit.
- Remove bushes from around unit to prevent moisture buildup.
- Hire a professional to lay concrete around unit to serve as a protective barrier.
- Sprinkle cayenne chili powder, garlic, jalapeño pepper, pepper, peppermint, or other powerful spice around unit as an organic repellent.
Winterize the heating and cooling system. It is best to get a head start on winterizing your home before the temperatures drop below zero. Follow Warner Service’s professional tricks:
- Invest in draft snakes to prevent warm air from seeping out and vice versa.
- Re-caulk gaps and repair weather-stripping on windows, piping, and foundation to save money on heating.
- Change air filter to alleviate autumn allergens and pathogens.
- Call an expert to clean vents.
- Run fans clockwise to reduce heating costs.
- Lower temperature of water heater to around 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Insulate pipes.
Clean and inspect the chimney, or hire a professional to perform the task. Homeowners should:
- Check firebox for damaged brick and missing or crumbling mortar.
- Look for broken or damaged flue liners.
- Ensure damper moves freely and fits snugly against the smoke shelf, and check for cracks, pitting, or rust.
- Clean debris that restricts airflow.
- Remove creosote (a dark brown oil distilled from coal tar and used as a wood preservative) deposits greater than 1/8-inch thick.
Take care of the lawn. For the front and back lawn:
- Apply a final coat of fertilizer to prevent the winter weather from doing severe damage.
- Clean crunchy leaves and other natural debris from gutters and downspouts to help rain flow away from your home’s foundation, which will prevent mold buildup and cracking.
Cover and store away outdoor furniture and grills. All of the deck accessories, fire pit, grill, and other outdoor fixtures should be put in a garage or shed for the colder seasons.
Schedule a system maintenance check-up. This phone call should be made seasonally (3 to 4 months). For the fall, a professional should perform the following tasks on the central system:
- Clean air ducts.
- Check for correct amount of refrigerant.
- Test for and seal leaks in ducts.
- Measure evaporator coil’s airflow.
- Verify correct electric control sequence.
- Inspect electric terminals, and clean and tighten connections.
- Oil motors, and check belts for tightness and wear.
- Check thermostat’s accuracy.
All of these chores may seem like a lot, especially when you add the daily to-dos. However, by taking care of these seasonal tasks before autumn arrives, you will save money on potential repairs and replacements for HVAC units, outdoor furniture, the foundation, and more.
If you are interested in adding an extra proactive step to your fall home care routine, print our Plumbing Maintenance Checklist: