Beautiful falling leaves and pleasing cooler temperatures are the harbingers of autumn we’ve all been waiting for. Ready or not, fall is in full swing! Isn’t it about time you prepared your home for the rigors of colder weather? Taking simple steps in maintenance can help keep your home in tip-top shape throughout the winter and save you money in repair work later on. Your friends at Jackson Comfort Services have put together an easy-to-follow checklist of must-do’s before winter rears its ugly head.
Both the interior and exterior of your home will need some attention to ensure safe and problem free winter months.
1| Check for Drafts
An easy tip is to carefully take a lighted candle around your window edges, if the flame flickers that window will most likely need the seals replaced and the caulking repaired. Drafty windows not only make your house cold and uncomfortable but will also cause a big increase in your monthly energy bill.
2| Change Your Filter & Have Your Furnace Inspected
Call your local HVAC specialist for a seasonal tune-up & inspection. Not only do these inspections test for things such as CO leaks, but they also reduce the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns as well as improve your system’s efficiency for year-round energy savings. Changing your furnace filter is something that should be done every 3-4 months as it improves your system’s performance and reduces airborne allergens and contaminants that are circulating in your air.
3| Change the Batteries in Your CO and Smoke Detectors
This is important for the safety of your home. You always want to test your detectors twice per year and replace every 5-7 years.
4| Have Your Chimney Inspected
Call for an inspection before the busy season. Burning fire in a chimney that is unsafe can lead to disaster. A simple scheduled cleaning will mark your fireplace safe for cozy winter nights.
5| Winterize Your Air Conditioning
Since you wont need your AC in the seasons to come you will need to tend to your unit. If your home has central air conditioning, you should make sure that your outdoor unit stays clean and clear of any debris such as leaves or snow. It’s also good to cover the top part of your AC unit (not the whole thing). If you have a window air conditioner, you’ll want to bring it in or cover it for the winter season.
6| Clean Gutters
Clogged gutters can lead to water damage or hazardous ice dams, make sure after all of your leaves have fallen that your gutters are free from debris for the winter season.
7| Winterize Your Outdoor Plumbing
Avoid frozen pipes. Disconnect all hoses attached to exterior faucets. Shut off the main valve for outdoor water supply, if your have one. Turn on all outdoor water faucets to bleed and drain the remaining water from the pipes.
8| Do a Roof Check
The best way to prevent roof leaks is by having it regularly inspected. Unfortunately you cannot do a proper inspection from the ground, call a professional in the fall to make sure there is enough time to repair any damage before it gets too cold.
9| Inspect Your Trees
Check for damaged limbs that may break, future ice or snow laden limbs could damage your house or nearby power lines.
10| Winterize Your Gas Grill
If grilling in the winter months isn’t something you regularly do, it’s time to pack away your grill. Give your grill a good cleaning to remove any stuck-on food and grease. Disconnect the propane tank and coat burners and grates with cooking oil to help repel moisture.
Preventative maintenance is the key to winterization. It is much better to spend time to prepare now rather than deal with crisis later. Nobody wants the stress and expense of an avoidable emergency. Check these off your list and get your home that much closer to winter ready.