As summer begins to wind down, it’s time to start thinking about the fall. Not just football season and haunted houses, but getting our homes ready for the transition to the cooler months and possibility for inclement weather ahead. Not only will these tips help keep your home more energy-efficient, but they can also actually keep your home safe and secure.
1. Clean your gutters
Those falling autumn leaves can cause big problems for you this winter if you don’t get them out of your gutters now. Clogged gutters can cause roof and wall leaks, peeling paint, wood rot, and damage to the gutters themselves that can be difficult to repair. Whether you do the job yourself or hire help, don’t procrastinate this important task.
2. Check smoke detectors
This chore only takes a minute and can save lives. Inspect your smoke detector alarms to make sure they are operating. If your smoke detector has a power indicator light, make sure that is on. Then, press the test button to see if the alarm sounds. Go ahead and put in fresh batteries while you’re up there. If you don’t already have them, consider installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home, too.
3. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected
It’s best to do this before cold weather (and the urge to light a fire) hits. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces be swept at 1/8” of sooty buildup, and sooner if there is any glaze present in the system. If you have any doubts about whether your chimney needs cleaning, ask a professional for guidance.
4. Have your heating equipment checked
In addition to making sure your heating system is ready to perform in cold weather, having it inspected by a qualified contractor can keep it operating efficiently, which can save money on energy bills. Be sure to change your system’s air filters monthly, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Trim the trees
Cut back any dead branches, particularly those that are hanging over your house. In stormy, windy, or icy weather, these could fall and potentially cause damage and injury. Tackling these five home maintenance projects can make a big difference for you and your household as the winter months approach. Go ahead and get them checked off your to-do list so you can relax and enjoy fall, football, friends, and family.