Fall is the best time to get your house in order because come winter, small problems can lead to expensive repairs that no homeowner wants to have to deal with. This checklist covers from lawn care to your furnance.
Many of these cost very little and require more time and effort than anything else. Once the winter freeze and thaw cycle kicks in, a tiny leak can turn into a crevasse which will cost you $10,000.00 -plus repair job. Fallen leaves can kill the grass when they're matted down by the snow. Leaf piles can also attract rodents, you can either bag your leafs which the city will take to the landfill, or use your mower's mulching mode, to ground up the leaves and save you time and money.
Check the Roof: Leaks can eventually damage the wood sheathing and rafters below the shingles, leading to thousands of dollars in repairs. You can use binoculars to cracked, curled, or missing shingles safely from the ground. You could also condering calling a Roof Pro to check the flashing around the chimney, skylights, roof valleys for leaks, rubber boots near vents for cracks that can let moisture seep in.
Clear the Cutters: Gutters stuffed with leaves, pine needles and other debris can let water spill over the side, pool around your home's foundation, and seep inside. Water freezes in the gutters which can force snow and ice into roof shingles, causing damage and leaks. You could consider a gutter guard system to keep debris out and water in.
Close the Hoses: Pipes can burst when water inside expands as it freezes, creating an expensive mess in your home. Be sure to shut off inside valves that control water flow to hose spigots. Briefly open the spigots to drain any leftover water in pipes and hoses. Also, be sure to drain water from supply lines to water sprinklers and pools, and shut off inside valves that control them.
If your house is draftly and your furnance needs maintenance, you'll be paying more to keep warm this winter than you have to. With a little white caulk and some elbow grease you can tighten the envelop of your home. Your furnance is less likely to fail on a cold day if you do some quick maintenance now.
Automative Energy Savings: Simply lowering you temperatures 10-15 degrees while you are at work or asleep can trim 15% off your heating bill. You can do this by lowering temperatures manually on any thermostat or install a programmable thermostat.
Plugging the Leaks: The swiftest saying come from sealing air leaks in your home's walls, windows, and especially its duckwork. Duct insulating and sealing are best left to a professional. But you can use a combination of caulk, foam board, expandable sealant, weather stripping to plug leaks around windows, doors, electrical outlets and other openings in your home. Plugging leaks could lower your annual heating and cooling bills by $400.00.
Replace the Furnance Filter: A dirty filter reduces heat and airflow, which can lead to expensive repairs. Check the air filter in the furnance or heat pump each month, get a professional to check it yearly, tightening electical connections, lubricating moving parts, checking drainage, control and connections for oil and gas systems.
Clean Your Chimney: A wood-burning fireplace or stove maybe cozy, but creosote buildup can block the flow of smoke and cause chimney fires and carbon-monoxide poisioning. And even unused chimney's can develop cracks that weaken the structure. Have your chimney inspected if it has no been inspected recently and a sweep.