The days are still warm and the grass is green, but autumn is just around the corner. And with all the welcome changes — relief from the heat, for one — comes preparation for the next season. Homeowners have things to do all year round, but when summer fades, it’s time to get ready for some focused fall home maintenance.
Here’s our whole-home approach: five tasks for each main system in your home that will get you ready for whatever Jack Frost has up his sleeve. From heat pump maintenance to electrical checks, this fall home maintenance checklist will set you and your home up for a great fall and winter.
What Should I Know About Heating and Cooling Maintenance?
You probably don’t think about your heating or cooling system very often (unless, of course, there’s a problem). But your heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) system contains plenty of complex parts and components, and when there’s a problem at one site, the whole system can suffer. That’s one reason HVAC maintenance is so important.
From simple AC maintenance to testing and landscape trimming, there are a few things you can do inside and outside your home to get your HVAC system set for the next season (and in a good place when spring rolls around again!)
- Change the filter at the start of the new season. Standard filters should be changed every 90 days and more frequently if you have pets. If you have a larger media filter, it should be changed every six months.
- If you live in a wooded area, leaves can become an issue for your AC unit. Cover the top of your unit (unless it’s a heat pump that needs to run all year round) to keep it clear. If you notice leaves are piling up, be sure to brush them off.
- Trim back any shrubs or bushes that might have grown wild over the summer near your outdoor unit.
- Mix white vinegar and water together and flush the AC condensate trap and drain (or the pump) to prevent biological growth, which could lead to a clog when you start the system back up next system.
- Test your heating system on a mild day to check for any issues. Don’t be alarmed if you smell a burning smell, this is usually just dust that’s burning off. The smell should go away in a few minutes.
How Do I Protect My Plumbing for the Winter?
When it comes to the plumbing in your home, your main priority will be to protect against extreme cold — ice is your worst enemy here. While there are ways to thaw frozen pipes, this is never a fun (nor a quick) chore.
Here’s a short list of top plumbing tasks you can tackle as the seasons change:
- Make sure all hoses and quick connect fittings are removed from their outside 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 emergency (knowing where to go to shut your water off will save you time and help avoid water damage in times of a plumbing emergency).
Why Do My Electrical Systems Need Attention?
Sometimes you won’t know something’s up with your electrical system until something goes very wrong. That’s definitely a fate you’ll want to avoid, and the good news is that a few simple steps will keep your home in good shape (and energized through the winter).
Get 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 the house.
- Check the batteries in your smoke detectors and CO monitor. Don’t have a CO monitor? Time to have your levels checked and get a device installed.
- Think about electrical issues you had last winter that might happen again this year.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel: you probably did some smart things last year (or learned a harsh lesson), so begin there. If you’re concerned that something’s not quite right, or might be worth a check, don’t hesitate to call us to have a professional electrician look at and quickly address any issues.
Focus on Your Indoor Air
Once it gets chilly outside, you’ll probably want to stay in more often. And when your indoor space becomes your main space, your indoor air becomes a major concern.
Now more than ever, indoor air quality is at the front of our minds. From chimney cleaning and fireplace maintenance to fighting off fall allergies, there are plenty of reasons to kick your indoor air cleaning up a notch. We have solutions that can help purify your air and ease your mind.
Could you use 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 in the months ahead.