Image Source: shutterstock
This fall, make sure you are taking all the necessary steps to keep your home, and especially your heating system, working properly this winter. Here is Part 2 (outdoor checklist) of our Fall Home Checklist to help you prepare your home for the cold weather ahead.
- Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts. Gutters are an often neglected part of our homes, but they are an essential for protecting our houses from water damage. If you ignore your gutters, water can spill over your gutters causing foundation damage, peeling paint, rotting wood, moldy basements and attics, and roof leaks. Late summer and early fall are great times to inspect your gutters before the leaves begin to fall. No doubt you will have to clear your gutters again after the leaves start falling, but if you do a thorough gutter inspection now, it will make your work in the late fall a lot easier.
- Inspect your roof for damaged shingles. Damaged/Missing shingles can be a warning sign for a more serious problem. You can inspect your roof yourself and even replace shingles by yourself, but if you have leaks or water coming into your house, you should have a professional roofer assess the situation. You can save a lot of money on more serious roof repairs by having a roofing professional inspect your roof for leaks and damaged areas.
- Drain and winterize any outdoor faucets and irrigation systems. Inspect all outdoor water faucets for damage. If they have a shut-off valve, close it off and turn on the faucet to drain any excess water in the faucets. For irrigation pipes, shut off the water supply and manually open all of the drain valves. For more information about how to drain and winterize faucets and irrigation systems, click here. To help winterize your outdoor plumbing, hire a local plumber to ensure the job is done right.
- Using weather-stripping and caulk, seal any or cracks you find. Inspect your home for proper sealing. If you can see daylight coming through any window or door seals, try weather-stripping and caulking the cracks.
- Prepare all yard equipment for storage, including lawn mowers, leaf blowers and chain-saws. Be sure to drain the fuel from gas powered tools. Drain the fuel out of all your gas-powered yard equipment. If you let the gas sit in your equipment, it will gunk up in the bottom of your tank, causing clogs in your ports and fuel lines. Repair shops make a good living off of “bad gas” problems with yard equipment. Be smarter than the rest and run out your tank of gas to avoid “bad gas.”
- Stow away all patio furniture. This is pretty self-explanatory. Protect your patio and yard furniture by storing them away during the fall and winter. Make sure they are completely dry before wrapping them up and storing them.
- Sweep the chimneys. This is a very important but often neglected fall task. Creosote, dust, and soot has been building up in your chimney for a while now and it is time to “Chim Chim Cher-ee” your chimney. You can do this yourself, but it is recommended that you get a professional to clean your chimney so the job is done right. Neglecting this task puts your home at a much higher risk for chimney fires.
- Trim plants and protect your outdoor unit. Summer was a great time for your plants to grow. Ensure that they are not growing too close to your outdoor HVAC unit by inspecting the area around your unit for any branches, vines, and weeds that may be encroaching. If you find any rust on your unit try to clean off as much as you can. You can apply a sealant or metal paint to the metal areas to protect it from the harsh winter. Continue to monitor the condition of your outdoor unit during the fall for leaves, branches, and other material that may be damaging your system. You want to make sure that there is good airflow around the unit.
- Replace all of your air filters. Your HVAC system has been hard at work this summer getting you cool air. If you haven’t replaced your air filters this summer, they are most likely in need of one. You don’t want to forget about this one because if you do, airflow will be dramatically reduced, causing your system to work harder and possibly break down.
- Get professional maintenance. Regular HVAC maintenance is essential for keeping your system safe, efficient, and long-lasting. Call your local HVAC technician today!
Make sure you have a trained HVAC professional deal with all of your furnace and boiler maintenance. Remember to change your filters and check your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms.
Milestone Electric & Air is here to help. Enroll in our Yes, MAM maintenance plan to help reduce energy costs and keep your HVAC system running at peak performance. Call us anytime! 972-267-2405 or 817-267-2405. We’ll Fix It In A Flash!