Shorter days and cooler nights are on the horizon, but before breaking out the sweaters and pumpkin-spice lattes, be sure that you’ve prepped your home for the season, both inside and out. Get started by taking inventory and creating a fall maintenance checklist. Let’s start from the top.
Examine your roof. Whether you hire someone or take it on yourself, be sure to replace missing, worn, loose or mildewed shingles. Loose or damaged ones can lead to leaks in your home, causing mold, mildew and wood damage.
Prepare your fireplace for the cold. Maintain a safe and cozy fireplace by having your chimney thoroughly cleaned and inspected by a professional each year. An inspector will check for things like flue functionality and coal ash buildup. The flue allows fresh air to enter and exhaust gasses to escape, while avoiding ash buildup prevents potential roof and chimney damage.
Check doors and windows. Reduce air leaks by weather stripping or caulking the doors and windows of your home. Air leaks can account for more than 20% of your utility bill. Ensuring that these openings are sealed properly results in less energy waste and more savings for you.
Inspect your HVAC system. An HVAC system checkup will normally include a carbon monoxide test and will examine the heat output of your unit. A professional will also be able to pinpoint areas where cleaning, repairs and replacements could benefit your home’s heating and cooling efficiency.
Make sure your batteries are in good shape. Smoke detectors can last up to 10 years, while carbon monoxide detectors last about six. If you’re not too sure when to change the batteries, a good rule of thumb is to check every time you change your clocks during fall and spring.
Prep your lawn for fall. Apply fertilizer to your grass in the fall to prevent winter damage. Add an eco-friendly touch by using compost you’ve made yourself from yard and kitchen scraps. Need a refresher on composting? Check out our blog How to Start Composting for Beginners.
Clear leaves and branches. Clean up leaves, twigs and other items around the exterior of your home. Be sure to look for branches that might be broken or cracked that could cause damage during a storm. And clear up your debris using reusable yard waste bags as a pollution-free alternative to plastic leaf bags.
Weatherproof outdoor furniture. Outdoor furniture doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be protected from the elements through every season. In some cases, you’ll still need to store it properly. You can protect your furniture by placing it under a covered patio or underneath a sturdy waterproof cover to ensure it looks just as good as it did when you first bought it.
Choose a clean electricity plan. You’ll be doing right by the planet and ensuring that your home is powered by 100% clean energy from Green Mountain Energy.
Remember that taking note of areas that could use some extra TLC this fall could be the difference in eliminating major maintenance hiccups down the road.
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