New homeowners often find that there are more maintenance tasks required to properly take care of a home than they previously realized. From basic tasks like changing HVAC air filters to more complicated jobs like sealing drafty windows, many things should be done each year to keep your home in its best condition. Many of these jobs are seasonal, and taking the time to handle maintenance tasks once or twice a year makes it easier and can help prevent forgetfulness and neglect. Here are some of the fall-season maintenance tasks that many homeowners find easy to forget:
Clean Dryer Vents
Fall is a great time to clean out your dryer vents. It’s important to do this regularly because, over time, lint can build up in your dryer vent, creating a fire hazard. A seasonal maintenance schedule can help you remember this task. Consider hiring a professional to perform a thorough cleaning or do it yourself if your vent is easily accessible and easy to clean.
Service Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system should be maintained and cleaned regularly. It’s a good idea to do this before cold weather sets in, especially if your heater hasn’t been turned on in a while. Schedule Mount Airy HVAC services for your heating and cooling system this fall to ensure it operates efficiently and to reduce the risk of breakdowns during extreme weather.
If you have a fireplace, ensure your chimney is clean and in good condition. Hire a professional chimney sweep if needed. Also, check the fireplace damper and replace it if it’s not sealing properly. Chimneys and flues that aren’t properly maintained can be a fire risk, so don’t neglect to do this task before you start using your fireplace each fall.
Seal Gaps and Cracks
Before cold weather sets in, make sure to Inspect your home for gaps and cracks in the walls, windows, and doors. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal these gaps to prevent drafts and save on energy costs. If you have a lot of areas that need treatment or your home seems drafty, call a professional to check for hidden gaps or insulation problems.
This is also a good time to verify the condition of your home’s insulation. Adequate insulation is crucial for energy efficiency. If it’s damaged or inadequate, consider upgrading it. Check the insulation in your attic and crawlspace as well.
Pests like mice are attracted to indoor areas, especially as the weather grows colder. Before winter, take the time to implement seasonal pest control measures. Look for signs of infestation and take action to prevent pests from entering your home. You may need to fill in gaps and check areas like your attic to make sure there are no signs of infestation or areas where animals can enter your home.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Experts recommend replacing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year. If you do this when you change your clocks, it’s easy to remember. If your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are older than ten years, you should replace them entirely.
Clean Refrigerator Coils
Your refrigerator coils need to be cleaned regularly as dust and debris can accumulate on the coils at the back or beneath your refrigerator. This can reduce its efficiency and damage the machine. Clean the coils as one of your regular seasonal maintenance tasks so you won’t forget and you will keep your fridge running smoothly. Having an efficient refrigerator will also save on energy.
Change Water Filters
Fall is also a good time to change out your water filters. Doing this while you are handling your other seasonal tasks helps you remember this job, and changing the filters as recommended helps ensure that your drinking water remains clean and safe. Your filtration system can also be strained or less efficient if it’s trying to pump water through dirty or aged filters, so it’s important to change them regularly.
Outdoor Home Maintenence
Make sure you pay attention to your home’s outdoor maintenance needs before winter arrives. For example, don’t forget to clean your gutters and downspouts regularly. Leaves, debris, and even small animals can clog them, leading to water damage and other issues. If water is trapped in your gutters or downspouts during freezing weather, damaging and dangerous ice dams can form.
You should also check your plants and landscaping. Seasonal tree and shrub maintenance not only helps to keep your yard looking tidy but also prevents overgrown branches from damaging your home during storms. Some plants also need to be protected from cold weather with burlap wrapping or layers of mulch.
Before the cold season, make sure you disconnect and drain your outdoor hoses and check for any leaks in outdoor faucets. Freeze-proof faucets should be used to prevent freezing and bursting.
Finally, if you have outdoor furniture, make sure to clean and store it properly during the off-season. Wood and fabric should be protected from wet and freezing weather so that it lasts longer. For example, clean furniture cushions, oil or stain wooden pieces, and store everything in a dry place.
These maintenance tasks may not always be on the top of your mind, but they can play a significant role in keeping your home safe, efficient, and comfortable throughout the year. Regularly scheduling and performing these tasks can help prevent costly repairs and ensure your home remains in great condition.