Once the leaves start falling and there’s a chill in the air, many homeowners think the time for household chores is done. However, there are still a few things to mark off your winter home maintenance checklistbefore calling it a season.
Maintain HVAC Systems — Make sure your heating system is running properly before the temperatures start to drop. If you haven’t already, schedule routine professional maintenance and change the air filter. This is also a good time to give the AC one final cleaning before shutting it down for the season.
Clean the Fireplace and Chimney — Fireplace and chimney maintenance chores are often neglected, but they are necessary. Clean out old ashes and make sure the flue is open before use. Call a chimney sweep to remove creosote buildup; too much is a fire hazard.
Seal Leaks — Not only can poorly sealed windows or vents create a drafty house and increase your electric bill, but those leaks can also let in insects and rodents. Check the windows for air leaks and seal them up with caulk. Walk the perimeter of the house and make sure air vents are properly maintained and there are no gaps in the siding.
Take Care of Yard Work — Trimming trees in the fall may be tempting, but don’t do it. Pruning stimulates new growth in most plants and, if done in fall, that new growth will die at the first freeze. There is still plenty of yard maintenance to do, however, such as raking and composting leaves.
Protect Pipes — A burst pipe is every homeowner’s nightmare, but you can reduce the risk by following a few simple guidelines, especially if temperatures dip below 20 degrees. Start by wrapping pipes and covering outside faucets.
Don’t leave yourself open to unnecessary headaches this winter. Prepare your home now to ensure you enjoy a safe and peaceful season.