7 Tips to get your Home Ready for Fall

Prepping your home for the fall weather

We've compiled some tips on things you should do now to help make your home more comfortable during the colder months ahead. 

1. Clean your eavestroughs and downspouts 

Water is your homes worst enemy. As leaves begin to fall, they will potentially eavestroughs and downspouts. This results in blockage of water from making it off your roof and away from your home. Cleaning them out regularly is a good idea to help stop water from finding a way inside. 

2. Applying Caulk around windows, doors and other openings 

Caulking around windows and doors prevents cold air from getting into your home. It's a good idea to do a perimeter check to see if you need to add more caulking in some spots. Having a good seal around these openings will not only make your home more comfortable, but will also help you waste less energy and save you money. 

It's also a good idea to apply caulk around vents, cables and pipes that run outside your home. 

3. Check and replace weather stripping

Weather stripping loses its effectiveness with age and needs to be replaced every few years. Check the stripping around the exterior doors and windows, and replace it if it appears worned down or cracked. 

If the stripping appears fine but you can feel air moving when your doors and windows are closed, check to see if the stripping was installed properly or if you're using the correct stripping. 

4. Inspect your roof and chimney 

The average lifespan of an asphalt shingled roof is between 15 -to-20 years. if installed properly. Factors such as insects, severe weather and trees can speed up the deterioration process. 

Have your roof inspected for worn, loose or missing shingles as well as mold or rot on them. For metal, tiled or solar panel roofs, it's best to have a professional do the inspection. 

5. Give your A/C unit a break 

Removable A/C window units should be removed and properly stored according to the manufacturer’s instructions before winter in order to protect the unit and help keep cooler outside air from getting inside.

Whole home A/C units should be powered down from the breaker in your main electrical panel. If you have a safety shut-off switch located outside by the A/C unit that should be turned off as well.

6. Shut-off and drain outside faucets 

The faucets you use outside in the summer to wash your car and water your garden are susceptible to freezing. If proper care is not taken to shut-off and drain these lines before winter, it can lead to pipes and faucets bursting or cracking and can be a huge expense. 

All faucets that exit your home should have a shut-off valve located inside. These shut-offs are usually located close to where the faucet exits the basement to the outside, but can also be located further back in the home closer to where the pipe for the faucet branches off from the main water source. If you don’t have shut-off valves or can’t find them, contact a licensed plumber to have them installed.

Once the water is turned off inside, open the outside faucet to let it completely drain. If the inside shut-off valve has a drain plug — a small cap on the side of the shut-off — open it while the outside faucet is still turned to the on position (make sure to have a bucket under it when you open it as water will come out). Once all the water has completely drained from the line, close the drain plug on the shut-off valve and turn the outside faucet back to the off position.

7. Clean and inspect your furnace 

Most people neglect their furnace during the summer months. Since it's almost time to turn the heat back up, it's recommended you do some general maintenance to keep it running in top form. 

Some general furnace maintenance includes: 

- clean or replace the furnace filter 

- vacuum the around your furnace and inside your floor and air intake vents

- if the furnace is over 15-years-old, have it inspected by a HVAC professional 

Don't forget to do these as well...

- Clean and inspect your fireplace 

- Clean and inspect your dryer vent

- Change the batteries in your smoke detectors 

-Check that carbon monoxide detectors are working properly 

- Inspect fire extinguishers 

- Inspect and test sump pumps 

- Empty and store rain barrels 

- Winterize outdoor lawn equipment 

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