The leaves are falling, and home maintenance is calling! Fall is the perfect time to get some needed home maintenance items knocked off your to-do list.
Service furnace and clean vents: A dirty air filter makes it harder to remove pollutants from your home's indoor air. Fall brings seasonal allergies for many; clean air means healthy people! If you’re a first-time homeowner, you should be changing the air filter often. It’s one of the easiest home maintenance items to do! You may also want to consider having a licensed HVAC company do a furnace cleaning and inspection to make sure that the furnace is running properly before the cold winter weather starts.
Make ceiling fans spin clockwise: Heat rises, you know that! But did you know that if you change the direction of your ceiling fan blades to spin clockwise, it moves the warm air at the top of the room down? This makes the whole room feel warmer and allows you to lower the thermostat and save money.
Test and change the batteries in your smoke and CO2 detectors: Home fires can happen at any time, but are more common in the fall and winter when the air is dry. At least once a year, you should test and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Even if your detectors are hard-wired, they likely still have a battery in case of power outages. You never know when you’ll need them to save your home or your life!
Clean chimney: Along with changing batteries in your smoke detectors, it is also essential to make sure your chimney is clean if you have a natural fireplace. When burning wood in your fireplace, chimney soot and creosote (a thick, oily residue similar to tar) build up in your chimney. If your chimney gets blocked by the soot, it can cause a fire or block carbon monoxide from exiting your chimney, and instead, it will come into your home. This maintenance item may not be the easiest (or cleanest) DIY project, so you may want to call in a professional chimney cleaning company.
Clean gutters and downspouts: While cleaning your gutters from dirt and leaves is probably the least fun outdoor task, it is one of the most important. Clogged gutters can cause leaks from water overflow and expensive yet preventable damage. Clean gutters ensure rainwater has somewhere to go! Grab a tall ladder and some rubber gloves and remove the debris. While you’re up there, may want to install gutter guards to prevent gutters from clogging.
Ensure doors and windows are sealed: If windows and doors aren’t sealed properly, allergens, cold air, and mold can pass through crevasses damaging windows, doors, walls, and floors. Checking windows and doors can save you time and money!
Drain garden hoses and turn off outdoor water faucets: In the cold fall and winter months, any water pipes that are outside or lead inside can freeze if water is left in them. Frozen pipes can burst when they unthaw, creating a mess. Draining hoses and water spigots can prevent financial and home-repair problems.
Clean and store yard equipment: Save yourself time next spring and get some cleaning done now! All of the beautiful outdoor furniture, equipment, and decorations that you’ve invested in might not weather the winter very well. Clean and protect your outdoor items, or store them before the snow falls.