While fall is filled with beautiful leaves, trick-or-treating and cozy campfires, it also provides the perfect time to do maintenance around the house. Winter arrives sooner than you think, so we recommend taking advantage of the milder weather to perform some much needed maintenance. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of fall maintenance tips to add to your to-do list that will save you money and stress as harsher weather looms on the horizon.
Windows and Doors
According to Energy.gov, heat gain or loss through windows is responsible for 25–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use. If you're building a new home or are looking to replace your current windows, selecting the most energy efficient option within your budget is essential. Even if your windows are in good condition, there are measures you can take to ensure that you are keeping your house warm and saving money on your energy bill. Check for air leaks or cracks around doors and windows, then apply weatherstripping or caulk where necessary.
How do you know if there’s a draft? Try closing your windows or doors on a piece of paper. If it slides easily, then you’ll need to take measures to protect against an air leak. If you’re using caulk, pick a nice day above 50 degrees for application — that’s when caulk flows easiest.
Chimney and Fireplace
As the air cools, many retreat indoors to the warmth of a fireplace. But before it gets there, we recommend adding some maintenance tasks to your fall checklist. Give the exterior a thorough inspection. You’re looking for cracks, holes, chipped masonry, or corrosion. These are all signs that your chimney may be in need of repair. A good chimney cap is a strong defense against fireplace repairs. It protects against the weather and wildlife, which can clog or damage your chimney. And lastly, check your flue for soot buildup, cracks, or holes.
Gutters and Roof
Fall leaves may be pretty but they cause havoc on the health of your house. Gutters play an important role in keeping water and debris off your roof. Otherwise, clogged gutters can leave your house vulnerable to rotting and rusting. You’ll want them in top shape and free of fallen leaves by the time winter weather approaches.
Take advantage of the cooler weather by getting outside and inspecting your gutters. You’re looking for clogging, loose screws, leaks, interfering trees, and rodents. First, start by clearing out your gutters. Use the garden hose one last time before wrapping it up for the winter and let it push out any built up debris. Then, make any necessary repairs. Leaks or sagging can lead to bigger problems that are hard to repair when sleet, snow and ice arrive. Trim away any trees that could cause more debris buildup. Also, keep on the lookout for rodents who seek shelter by building homes in your concave gutters. And finally, consider adding gutter guards. They are an excellent way to protect against the buildup of debris while still letting water flow away from your house.
The last thing you’ll want during the cold winter months is to come inside to a house barely warmer than outside. That’s why fall is an ideal time for performing maintenance on your furnace and water heater.
Clean your furnace by first shutting it off, turning off the circuit breaker and closing off the gas valve if necessary. After removing the side panel of the furnace, use a vacuum cleaner to clear out any dust or dirt that has accumulated. Remember not to obstruct the intake vents. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for corrosion or holes. And before you turn the furnace on for the first time this season, replace the air filter. Lastly, vacuum out vents and ducts so they can adequately heat your home.
Enjoy all the fun each season has to offer with less of the stress in a new home at Brunswick Crossing. We provide amenities that keep you active all year round, including 26 miles of trails and walkways, community pool, fitness center, and athletic fields. Find your next home in the Brunswick Crossing community. Check out more stunning models and take a virtual tour today!