A Fall Checklist To Ensure That Your Home Is Ready For Winter

fall maintenance checklistNow is the time to start getting your home prepared for winter.

Since the summer is over, the days of laying around in the sun are over. The days will get shorter, and the weather will get colder. Therefore, it is essential to start taking care of these tasks now.  If you live in an area where the winters are cold and prone to extreme weather, preparing now is essential.

These tasks will ensure that you are comfortable and safe during the cold weather. To be sure that you are warm, you need to check your home’s heating system. To make sure that your trees won’t cause any damage during severe weather, you should have them pruned.

This checklist of chores should be handled before the cold winter begins.

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A Fall Maintenance Checklist & Furnace Tune-up Benefits For Homeowners

Below is a list of tasks that need to be performed to prepare for the winter adequately.

Gutters & Downspouts: Remove Twigs & Leaves

cleaning guttersIn the fall, the leaves are going to fall from the trees. Many of the leaves will end up in your gutters and your downspouts. If you don’t clean the leaves and debris from the gutters, it will cause a clog. Consequently, the water will remain in the gutters. When the temperatures drop below freezing, the water in the gutters will freeze which can create an ice dam. An ice dam can cause damage to the roof.

While cleaning the gutters and downspouts, you can take the opportunity to make sure that your gutters and downspouts are adequately secured. Start by making sure that the gutters are not sagging. Also, make sure that the hangers that hold the gutters up are tightly fastened and that the brackets that hold the downspouts are also tightened. Finally, make sure that the downspouts extend at least 5 feet from your house. Doing so will prevent water from building up around the foundation which, over time, can lead to damage.

Check The Outside Of The House For Damage

It is a good idea to walk around the house to check for any damage to your roof.

If you find shingles on the ground or if they are lifting or buckling, you should contact a licensed roofer to make the necessary repairs. You should also check for rust spots on the flashings. While walking around the house, check for damage to the siding or the home’s foundation. These are issues that you should fix before the severe weather hits.

Seal Gaps & Cracks With Caulking & Weatherstripping

sealing air draftsWhile checking the home’s exterior, you should be looking for gaps and cracks in the home. These issues can cause the home to be drafty, and your heating system will need to work overtime to keep the house warm. Air drafts cause your heating bills to increase, and it can also decrease your heating system’s lifespan. If there are any gaps or cracks in the sides of the windows, the door frames, or between the trimming and the siding, you can caulk up the gaps, keeping the cold air out of the home. It will also prevent condensation which can cause mold growth.
During the winter, mice and other critters are looking for a warm place to call home. If the gaps and cracks in your home are large enough, they will come inside. Mice and other critters leave behind droppings that carry disease. They can also get into your food, and they can cause damage to the structure of your home. If any of the cracks or gaps are too large for caulking to be effective, you can use heavy-duty hardware cloth to cover the hole until you can get a professional to come to your home and make the necessary repairs.

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Outside Plumbing Tips: Outdoor Faucets & Hose Bibbs

When winter comes, you will no longer need to water your lawn and garden. Before the freezing temperatures hit, you should turn off the water to the outside faucets. Doing so will keep the pipes from freezing. You should also remove the garden hoses from the outdoor spigots. Not only will any remaining water in the hose freeze and burst the hose, but it also puts your home at risk of a burst pipe. Be sure to do this in the fall. If the temperature drops below freezing in the middle of the night, you can wake up to a costly problem.

Stock Up On Winter Supplies & Safety Gear

snow blowerBefore the cold weather hits, you should make sure that you have all of the supplies that you will need for winter.

If it snows where you live, you should make sure that your ice scrapers and snow shovels are in good condition. You also want to stock up on ice melt, batteries, and gasoline. Finally, if you have a snow blower, you should have it tuned up and have the oil changed.

Perform A Fireplace Inspection Before Use

If you have a fireplace in your home that you plan to use when the weather gets cold, you need to make sure that it will work properly. You also need to be sure that it is safe to use. Start by looking inside the fireplace flue with a flashlight. Next, open and close the damper to be sure that it is functioning properly. It is important that you check for blockages in the chimney. You should be able to see the light shine right up the chimney. It is not uncommon for birds to create nests in the chimney. First, check the chimney. Next, if you don’t have a chimney cap, you should get one now. Finally, use a chimney balloon to keep the cold air from entering your home.

Schedule A Furnace Tune-Up With An HVAC Technician

furnace tune-upBefore the beginning of each heating, it is crucial that you have your heating system inspected and maintained.

During the annual maintenance visit, the HVAC tech will use a furnace tune-up checklist to make sure that they examine the unit from top to bottom. In addition, they inspect your unit to see if your system has any minor issues that can result in a complete breakdown.

They will lubricate the inner workings of the system, and they will clean all dust and grime from the furnace. If this is not done regularly, your unit won’t run as efficiently as it should. If your heating system is not running efficiently, it will require more power to keep the home warm during the winter, leading to an increase in your energy bill. Also, if your system is not running efficiently, it will need to work much harder which can decrease its lifespan. The best way to ensure that your home is warm all winter long is to schedule an annual maintenance check before the heating season begins. In addition, many HVAC companies offer furnace tune-up specials during the fall which helps reduce the furnace tune-up cost.

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Before doing a Google search for “furnace tune-up near me,” you should give Wilcox Energy a call. All of our technicians are NATE certified and friendly, professional, and highly trained. By working with us, you can feel the peace of mind that your HVAC system will be in perfect working order when you need it the most. To schedule an appointment to have your system cleaned and maintained, give us a call today.

Call Today: (860) 399-6218

For more information about our HVAC services, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. You can click here to contact us or you can call us at (860) 399-6218 to find out more. We offer a full line of heating and cooling repairs, maintenance services, and installations.