Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
One of the things we at PointClickSwitch love about fall is the changing of the leaves and how Baltimore’s normally humid weather cools off to a crisp but comfortable temperature range. We also know that fall is a time for preparation for the more intense cold of winter and all of the potential house and energy issues that come along with the drop in temps. Here is a quick home checklist to fold into your busy schedule of hayrides and pumpkin spice lattes:
Winterize your electric and gas bill
Switching your thermostat from Cooling to Heating often means bracing yourself for higher bills. While reducing your energy consumption with our other tips will help to keep your bills from growing out of control, lowering the rate you pay for electricity and gas is a key piece to staying warm on a budget this year. Compare the rate you’re currently paying with the market and make sure you’re locking in a better rate before the cold settles in.
Freshen up your furnace
Furnaces for many of us are game changers in the winter. They do the heavy lifting of keeping our homes warm and because of this, their maintenance before winter is even more important. Early fall is the best time to check in on your furnace so that you have peace of mind going into colder temperatures. Changing your furnace filter is one of the easiest checklist items and it helps to make sure your system will operate as efficiently as possible. Hire a professional to inspect your furnace and head off any issues before deep winter.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors
Spending more time inside, coupled with heating your home whether by furnace or fireplace means your detectors need to be at the top of their game. Do a quick review to make sure all of your detectors are working properly and have fresh batteries. Check in on whether you have detectors on each floor and in all of the critical living areas of your home. Combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a good investment to reduce the number of detectors you need throughout your home while still staying safe.
Seal leaks around windows and doors
Air slipping through leaky seals is taking your money with it. Seals can weaken over time with the changing seasons, so you’ll want to set aside time to inspect your seals and confirm that you don’t have any drafts. Invest in weather stripping, caulking and other sealing mechanisms to keep the heat you’re paying for inside your home. Quick tip: a simple draft stopper placed at the bottom of a door is a fast way to block drafts without having to do any major installations.
Clean your windows
Hibernating in the winter during shorter days doesn’t have to be a dark and dreary experience. Something as small as cleaning your windows can maximize the light coming in, get you a little more Vitamin D and help ward off the winter doldrums.
Reverse your fans
Most of us only think of using our fans to stay cool, but in fact they can be helpful during the winter too. Since hot air rises, you can use your fan to move that air back down and keep you warm. In winter, you’ll want your ceiling fans to push that hot air down especially in rooms that have higher ceilings and on the lower floors of your home which tend to lose their heat to your upper floors. Have your ceiling fan blades turn clockwise during the colder months to get the warm air back down with you instead of up by your ceiling.
Turn off outdoor plumbing
With the drop in temperature, water left sitting in your outdoor pipes can present an issue. Removing the water from these pipes helps to prevent them from bursting and leaving you with a big mess to clean up. Prevent the pipes for your exterior water access from bursting by draining the pipes and shutting off the water to those access points.