Top Home Maintenance Tips for the Fall
Perhaps the biggest advantage of buying a new build home is the feeling of security that comes from knowing things won’t break down – and may even be covered by home warranty in the unlikely event they do. That being said, you’ll still want to be proactive when it comes to maintaining your home.While you won’t have much to worry about when it comes to maintenance in your new home, you should still do the following things to keep your home in great condition.
Here are a few helpful home maintenance tips to get your home ready for the colder weather.
1. Tune Up Your Heat
Your furnace should go through an annual filter change and, in if you’re living in an older home, a tune-up to ensure the system is working properly. It doesn’t cost much to have a professional do this, and you won’t have to worry about the possibility of the system breaking down in the middle of winter. Tune-ups are also a smart move if you have other types of heat throughout the home, such as gas-powered fireplaces.
2. Change the Direction of Fans
Speaking of heat, did you know ceiling fans can help keep your home warmer in winter? When they rotate in a counterclockwise direction, they push the cool air down into the room. In the winter, you want fans to run in a clockwise direction, which will push the warm air at the ceiling out toward the walls, circulating it back into the room. Take a few seconds to flip the switch on your fans and save on heating costs in the winter.
3. Sweep Those Chimneys
There’s nothing quite like sitting by the fireplace on a cold winter’s night, but if you don’t get the chimney cleaned in the fall, it could be a fire hazard. The Canada Safety Council recommends you clean your chimney once a year. A professional chimney sweep can inspect and clean your chimney. Make this a part of your annual fall maintenance.
4. Test for Air Leaks
While this is less likely with the energy efficiency that accompanies new homes, heating bills can go up if cold air seeps into your home. On a cool night, check the areas around windows and doors for coldness or a small breeze – especially if your home is older. These can crack and wear down over time. It may be time to replace some of the parts.
5. Clean Out the Gutters
During the fall, leaves fall into the gutters, and the build-up can cause blockages. As a result, ice dams form when the melting snow from the roof cannot drain properly and reforms as ice in the gutters. In addition to causing water damage to the roof, an ice dam could become heavy enough to pull the gutters off the home. By cleaning debris from the gutters, you ensure a smooth passage for water.
6. Prepare the Lawn
Surprisingly, a great lawn starts by preparation in the fall. Aerate your lawn by poking small holes in it to allow oxygen and nutrition to seep deeper into the ground. You can do this with special shoes or tools. Once you’ve finished this task, spread out some lawn fertilizer and grass seed. If you don’t want to do this on your own, lawn maintenance companies typically offer a fall maintenance plan.
7. Drain the Lawn Mower
If stale gas sits in your lawn mower over the winter, it can prevent the machine from starting in the spring. When you’re done mowing for the year, allow the mower to run until it’s out of gas. Alternatively, syphon the gas into a container and transfer it to your snow blower. The mower’s manufacturer might also recommend an additive for winter storage.
8. Clean Gardening Tools
It’s easy to forget about your gardening tools once your plants start to die off. However, tools that sit through the winter with caked-on mud can start rusting or become damaged. If you’re ready to put the tools away until next year, take some time to clean them off, then store them properly.
9. Turn off the Outdoor Water Pipes
Since water expands when it freezes, you want to avoid keeping water in the outside pipes and hoses. Drain and remove your hoses, then store them in the garage or attic until springtime. Then, turn off the water to the outside water spigots.
Fall maintenance doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but it’s essential for the well-being of your home. Get started on your to-do list so it’s finished by the time the snow comes (again).