While it won’t be official for a few more weeks, the reintroduction of all things pumpkin spice at your local coffee chain makes it clear: it’s time to start planning for fall. Hold off on digging out those sweaters and scarves until the temps truly drop, but go ahead and get started on these important tasks for homeowners.
HVAC and Safety Inspection
It’s not quite time to make the switch from AC to heat, but prepare in advance for that first cold snap. Have your HVAC technician out now to give your heating system a check. Your tech can look for any leaks or damage, change the filter, and make sure your heater will run at peak efficiency when the time comes. Consider a preventive maintenance agreement to make this inspection an annual event.
This is also a good time for an overall safety inspection: once your HVAC professional ensures there’s no carbon monoxide leak in your unit, you can tackle changing the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Carefully clean and test each one as well.
Continue your safety check by taking a look at your fire extinguishers. You should have one in the kitchen and at least one on each floor of the house. To inspect them, check the pressure gauge indicator, which tells you the extinguisher is charged. Ensure that the lock pin is engaged and that the nozzle is not clogged. If the extinguisher is severely dented, corroded, or otherwise damaged (or if it is more than six years old), replace it.
No one likes cleaning the gutters, but it’s an important chore. Allowing leaves and debris to accumulate can result in severe and costly damage to your home. Grab yourself a partner and a ladder and get to it! (If you really hate it, hire a company to do it for you.)
While you’re up there, give your roof a quick inspection, checking for damaged or missing shingles, as well as leaves and debris. Use the leaves you’ve collected from the gutters and roof to start a compost pile, adding to it as you rake your yard throughout the fall. Your garden will thank you when springtime rolls around!
A Tight Seal
The beginning of fall is the perfect time to seal up any cracks inside and outside your home. Hire a professional to examine your siding or walk around your property with a tube of caulk, looking for gaps around windows and doors and where the trim meets the siding.
Look for damage to sidewalks and driveways while you’re at it. Fix disintegrated sections and cracks while they’re still minor to prevent expensive repairs later on.
On the inside, check the weather stripping around windows and doors to see if it has deteriorated. If so, replace it! A properly sealed home will prevent cold air and moisture from seeping in and warm air from escaping — an essential step to keeping your energy costs in check this fall!
Take a look at your trees and note any limbs that appear damaged or that have grown too close to roofs or power lines. Hire an arborist to remove any potential dangers before fall storms hit.
There’s still some time left before you’re ready to curl up in your favorite chair with a fleece blanket and hot beverage. Use it wisely by preparing your home for the upcoming season!