Fall is a good time to take a look at things around the house that need to be addressed for the cold months ahead. Use this handy checklist to take care of prepping your home inside and out:
- Check your heating system
- Reset your thermostat
- Seal those leaks
- Add insulation
- Clean out the chimney
- Keep pests out
- Clean out the gutters
- Seal cracks in your driveway
- Inspect the roof
- Prepare your lawn
- Wrap those exterior pipes
Check your heating system
This is a great time to discover if there are any issues with your heating system. Start by changing your air filter to protect both your equipment and your interior air quality. This is an excellent time to have your entire HVAC system given the once-over as part of a regular maintenance plan.
Reset your thermostat
Temperatures outside are changing – and so should the temperatures inside. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, consider installing one for energy savings. Properly used, a programmable thermostat can save you almost $200 each year.
Seal those leaks
Normal wear and tear, in addition to changes in temperature and humidity, can cause window seals to crack or shrink. So, check all seals around windows and doors to see if there are drafts. Install caulk or weather stripping to help keep things snug.
Your insulation situation may be just fine, but if it’s a little sparse in the attic, you may want to consider blowing in some extra insulation to fill gaps and cover nooks and crannies. This will help your energy bill by retaining heated air.
Clean out the chimney
Have your wood-burning fireplace inspected and cleaned to prevent soot or creosote from causing a chimney fire this winter.
Keep pests out
As the temperatures outside drop, pests like spiders, insects, and very small mammals love to come inside where it’s much warmer. Keep them at bay by putting a screen behind all vents that lead into the house.
Clean out your gutters
Leaves, twigs, and other items get in your gutter throughout the summer months. The clogs they present can cause ice dams in the winter, so clean them out before cold weather hits. Follow by flushing well with water.
Seal cracks in your driveway
Your asphalt driveway likely accumulated a few little cracks over the past year. This is a good time to fill them and seal your driveway so small cracks don’t become big ones.
Inspect the roof
Summer storms and heat take their toll, and you should give your roof a good inspection before the onslaught of cold weather with ice and snow. Check and replace curling, buckling, or cracked shingles. Make sure there are no leaks or gaps around the flashing for your skylights, chimneys, or pipe vents.
Prepare your lawn
Your lawn is preparing for a long nap, and you can help it get ready by raking up leaves that suffocate grass and provide a breeding ground for insects and fungus. Aerate the soil so the roots can get air and moisture, followed by a good dose of fertilizer.
Wrap those exterior pipes
To help prevent frozen pipes this winter, wrap exterior water pipes with heat tape or insulation. Be sure to remember to turn off the valves to your exterior hose outlets as well, draining all water until the pipes are empty.
By taking some time to prepare your home and yard for the seasons ahead, you can save a lot of downtime and money for the future. Be sure to have a local HVAC professional give your heating system a thorough inspection to make sure your equipment doesn’t stop cold this winter.This is What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Air Filter » « How to Avoid Common HVAC Scams