Seasonal Home Maintenance Tips
Get Ready for Fall
Home maintenance: Fall
Many of the things you do in spring can be duplicated in fall. In fact, it’s essential that you at least clean your gutters before winter sets in. Dead leaves could block water flow and cause a big drainage problem. But there are other things you should check on as well before the cold weather arrives.
If maintaining heat is important to you (and we’ll wager it is), then you’ll want to make sure your furnace is clean and operating without flaws. While it’s always wise to have a professional look at your furnace, there are things you can do on your own without too much trouble to ensure it’s working properly. The first thing is to locate the furnace (usually the basement houses it) and pop the combustion chamber door. Next, turn off the power switch. Now you’re ready.
- Clean and replace the filter system as needed. New filters should be installed every 1-3 months.
- Check the thermostat to make sure it’s functioning correctly.
- Blow dust off the pilot area and clean the vents.
- Vacuum out the blower blades. Also use a stiff brush to get all the dust.
- Conduct an inspection of the fan for dust. If it looks dirty you may need the help of a professional.
- Check your furnace exhaust flue and to ensure toxic carbon monoxide has a direct path to exit your house.
Speaking of carbon monoxide, this is a good time to refresh the batteries in any carbon monoxide detectors you have around your home. This should be done once every year.
Other fall home maintenance ideas
Examine your windows/doors: Inspect exterior caulking and make sure everything closes tightly. If your door gets a lot of sunlight, it might prematurely fade and warrant a fresh coat of paint. You may need to lightly sand beforehand.
Inspect your garage door: If you have an automatic garage door opener, you may have a professional come out periodically to check on things as part of a service contract. To keep those visits to a minimum, you can take a few minutes to lubricate the garage door pulleys and rollers—specifically, the bearings. Don’t use an oil lubricant, opt for a lithium- or silicone-based one instead.
Clear patio and disengage grill: It’s fall and winter is coming. Time to take things in for the winter like patio furniture, deck chairs, etc. You’ll also need to address your outdoor grill. Unplug it if it’s electric and wheel it into your garage. If it runs on gas or propane, make sure to turn off the tank before storing it. Follow your owner’s manual and be sure to remove gas tubes off the gas lines and completely remove the tank before storing it. Note: Gas and propane tanks should never be stored inside.
Prepare AC and chimney for winter: Place a covering over your outside AC unit to protect it from the upcoming winter. If you have a working fireplace, you’ll want to begin on the inside and clean the flue with a metal bristle brush. Use a power vac to suck up the debris. Then if you’re serious about DIY maintenance, you’ll need to (very carefully) get on the roof and inspect the chimney crown and look for any spider cracks or missing chunks. Be prepared to spread a sealant around the base of the crown. You should get the hood/liner inspected as well. Many homeowners strive for an annual chimney cleaning. Call a professional for advice on how to proceed.
Service your snowblower: Not everyone needs a snowblower come winter, but if you do, you’ll want it to perform reliably when those flakes start to fall; hence, some basic maintenance. This includes changing the oil, inspecting and replacing the belts, scraper bars and skid shoes; changing the spark plug, adding new fuel (gasoline) into the tank and generally examining and tightening the various nuts and bolts.
Winterize your power tools like leaf blowers, chainsaws as well as lawn mowers and the like before you bring them inside for the winter. Winterize just means following a few basic steps so internal engines on gas-powered outdoor equipment don't corrode during the offseason due to inactivity.
If you're not up for the DIY side of things, please take a look to any HBA Dayton member who can provide those services. Remember, when working with a HBA Dayton member you can rest assured you are dealing with the residential construction experts in the Dayton region who provide value, professionalism, and most importantly, trust!