Time to Perform Your Fall Home Maintenance
The leaves have started to drop, and chrysanthemums are showing their color. It is the perfect time of year to do a quick check in and around your home to make sure it is ready for the winter months ahead. You do not need to hire anyone to do this checkup. If you were to find a problem that is bigger than you can tackle, then that is the time to hire a professional to make the repair before the snow falls.
Let’s get started.
- Cover or remove a window air-conditioning unit. If you take it out, be sure to seal the window or wall opening.
- If your home has an attic fan opening, seal it with an airtight cover and insulate it to keep drafts and the cold out.
- If you have a humidifier connected to your heating system, here are a few steps to follow.
- Drain and clean the water pan
- Gently move the float arm back and forth to remove any obstructions.
- Use a flexible wire to clean the water inlet of mineral buildup. White vinegar and an old toothbrush help to remove any visible buildup on the pipe.
- Lubricate the motor with a drop or two of 20-weight oil. Open your oil can with a pin or needle to keep from making the spout too big.
- Check the flame color on gas furnaces to ensure that is burning a blue with little or no yellow.
- Remove the cover on the thermostat and dust with a soft brush. To clean any oil film from metal contacts, slide a piece of white paper between the contacts several times.
- Check the fireplace damper to make sure it is works properly and closes completely. Clean the iron grates.
- For wood burning heaters:
- Scrape the inside especially the nooks and crannies with a wire bristle brush.
- Check it for any cracks and repair if necessary.
- Clean the exterior completely
- If the heater has a blower, vacuum the blower, replace any filters, and oil the motor.
- Inspect the chimney for loose bricks, stones or deteriorating joints. Make any necessary repairs.
- Check the chimney flue liner or joints for bird’s nests or other obstructions.
- Close the shutoff valves to any outside faucets and waterlines and drain. Be sure to drain any garden hoses and store in the garage.
- Clean out debris from the gutters and downspouts. Check to make sure they collect the rainwater properly and it drains away properly from your home.
- Refill your water softener with salt pellets.
- Manually open the valve on your hot water tank to test operation. Wear gloves and use a bucket to catch the water as it comes out. Be sure to return the valve to its original position.
- Protect waterlines and hose bibs from freezing.
- Clean leaves and other debris from around outside heating and cooling systems
- Check weather stripping on doors and windows for damage and a tight fit.
- Clean screens, check vents, and louvers for free air movement.
- Inspect faucets, hose bibs, commodes, and shutoff valves for leaks.
Keeping your home maintained is one of the easiest ways to protect your investment. These few tasks can go a long way to keep all your homes systems operating their best. The benefit to you is lower utility and repair bills in the months and years ahead.
Source: Checklist For Maintaining Your Home, Mississippi State University Extension, Publication 1505.