Autumn is just around the corner. And with all the welcome changes — relief from the heat, for one — comes preparation for the next season. When summer fades, prepare your home in Pennsylvania for fall and winter with some maintenance tips and guidance.
From heating and cooling maintenance to electrical inspections, our fall home maintenance checklist will help keep your home warm as the temperatures drop outside.
What Should I Take Care of Outdoors?
It’s not just the inside of your home that needs protection — inspect your home’s perimeters and check these key things off your maintenance checklist:
- A little landscaping can go a long way for your greenery! Start by trimming your tree branches, bushes, and overgrown hedges. You’ll also want to fertilize your lawn and plant new grass to nourish and protect the roots and plants in your yard.
- Clear your lawn of any stray debris and foliage.
- Cover your patio furniture and other outdoor items with weatherproof covering, especially if you don’t have a place to store them when winter rolls around.
- Clear your gutters of any debris, foliage, nests, or other materials to prevent any damage during the cold.
- Inspect your home’s foundation for any cracks or gaps where masonry meets siding, where pipes and wires enter your home, or around your door and window frames. If you identify any cracks, your home may call for some caulking and sealing work to keep the cold air outside.
- As your home’s first defense, have a professional inspect and replace any missing or loose shingles on your roof to protect your home from potential snowstorms.
Heating & Cooling Maintenance in PA: Preparing for Fall
While your heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) system may not always be top of mind, it consists of various parts working together to power your system. If one part goes awry, it’s likely the others will follow suit — that’s why HVAC maintenance is so important.
From simple AC maintenance to landscape trimming, there are a few things you can do inside and outside your home to prepare your HVAC system for those harsh winters in Central & Eastern PA.
- Change the filter at the start of the new season. We recommend changing standard filters every 90 days, and more frequently if you have pets. If you have a larger media filter, be sure to change it every six months.
- Change the batteries in your thermostat. Once you’re ready to fire up your furnace, make sure to power your thermostat with the batteries it needs to properly control your home’s temperature.
- If you live in a wooded area, leaves can pose an issue for your AC unit. Cover the top of your unit (unless it’s a heat pump that runs all year round) to keep it clear. If you notice leaves are piling up, make sure to brush them off.
- Trim any shrubs or bushes that might have grown wild over the summer near your outdoor unit.
- Mix white vinegar and water together and flush your AC condensate trap and drain (or the pump) to prevent any biological growth that can clog your system before starting it back up next spring and summer.
- Test your heating system on a mild day to check for any issues. If you notice a burning smell, it’s likely just dust burning off and should go away in a few minutes.
Another way to stay cozy and comfy in the following months is to inspect and seal your home’s windows for drafts and to keep the cold air out.
How Do I Protect My Plumbing for the Winter in PA?
When it comes to your home’s plumbing system, it’s vital to protect it against extreme cold weather conditions. While there are ways to thaw frozen pipes, it’s best to get ahead of the game and winterize your plumbing system in PA before winter freezes over.
Here’s a short list of top plumbing tasks you can tackle as the seasons change:
- Make sure to remove all hoses and quick-connect fittings from their outdoor faucets to prevent freezing.
- Winterize all outdoor piping and buildings to prevent them from freezing.
- Remove leaves and debris from gutters to avoid clogs in your rainwater pipes and leaders.
- Turn off and drain irrigation lines that are in danger of freezing.
- Locate your water turn-off valve in case of an emergency (knowing where to shut your water off will save you time and can prevent water damage when there’s an emergency).
Why Do My Electrical Systems Need Attention?
Once winter rolls around, the last thing you want is for something to go wrong with your electrical system, especially if the power goes out during a storm. The good news is there are a few things you can do to keep your home in shape and energized through the winter.
Be proactive with these smart electrical checks:
- Test your outdoor lights and receptacles.
- Check for fallen or broken lights.
- Check your meter base to make sure it’s securely mounted against your house.
- Check the batteries in your smoke detectors and CO monitor. If you don’t have a CO monitor, you’ll want a professional to check your home’s CO levels and install a system to protect you and your family.
- Revisit any electrical issues from previous winters to prevent them from happening again.
Maintaining your home’s electrical system can be tricky. If you suspect something is weary with your home’s wiring, or your system is worth a check, call Haller today for a certified electrician to inspect your electrical system and address any issues.
Focus on Your Indoor Air Quality in PA
Once it gets chilly in Pennsylvania, you’ll likely stay inside more often. When your indoor space becomes your main space, you’ll want to prioritize your home’s indoor air quality.
Now more than ever, indoor air quality remains at the top of our minds. From chimney cleaning and fireplace maintenance to battling fall allergies, there are plenty of reasons to focus on and improve your home’s air quality. Consider installing an indoor air quality (IAQ) system to reduce dust and other pollutants, leaving the air you breathe safe and healthy.
Here at Haller, we provide excellent indoor air quality solutions to help purify your air and ease your mind.
Want a helping hand with your home maintenance? Give us a call at Haller and let’s get your home in great shape to keep you safe, healthy, and warm during those chilly months in Pennsylvania.