Fall Home Maintenance Guide
Take Care of Your Home Before Winter
When the weather starts to get crisp and cool, a different set of home maintenance tasks comes into play. HWA has compiled a handy Fall Home Maintenance Guide to help you protect your home systems, control your energy bills and keep your living spaces warm and comfortable. Put these tips to work in your own home and reap the benefits!
- Autumn is the time to prepare the outside of your home for winter. Keep your gutters and downspouts clear of falling leaves and debris, drain and stow your garden hoses, and drain the fuel from gas-powered equipment like lawnmowers and leaf blowers after the last use of the season.
- When the weather cools, you may notice drafty spots around your home. Pinpoint these areas and plug the leaks by replacing weather stripping and filling in cracks with caulk or foam insulation. Even a small leak can make a noticeable difference in your monthly energy bills.
- Get your furnace tuned up before winter. A successful tune-up can make your system more energy efficient all season long, but it's also a great opportunity for a trained professional to catch small problems before they worsen and turn into major expenses.
- Test every smoke alarm in your home and replace the batteries.
- If you have a working chimney, have it professionally inspected and cleaned before your first fire of the season. Also, stock up on a full season's worth of firewood by early fall, and stack it neatly outside your home. During the winter, restocking your firewood supply can come at a steep price.
- Check the insulation in your attic, and replace or add more as needed. This is an essential step in any fall home maintenance guide – insufficient attic insulation is one of the biggest sources of heat loss during the colder months.
- Make sure your plumbing pipes are well insulated before the first freeze. Pipes can be prepared with insulating foam, heat tape, or even with layers of rags or newspapers.
- If you experience a deep freeze and are still concerned about your pipes freezing, you can turn the faucet on until it just begins to trickle. The slight flow of water is often enough to prevent freezing. For your interior sinks, be sure to open the cabinet doors below so your heated indoor air can reach the pipes.
Taking care of your home before the cold weather arrives is the best way to prepare for those chilly temperatures.
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