As cool weather approaches, it’s important to take a weekend or two to address seasonal maintenance for your Raleigh, North Carolina, home. A few smart preventive tasks now can help you to prepare your home to stay safe and comfortable throughout the fall and winter months ahead.
Clean the Gutters
All that gorgeous fall foliage can wreak havoc on your gutters. Keep them clean to prevent serious winter problems when snow melts and you need to direct the water drainage from your roof. If your gutters have a significant buildup of leaves and debris, take a bucket with you for easy collection that won’t muck up the yard. As you’re cleaning, keep a close eye on the condition of the gutters and downspouts. This is the ideal time to fix any leaks, cracks, or other problems.
Handle Heater Maintenance
Your heater needs annual maintenance to stay in prime condition. Scheduling a furnace tuneup once a year will reduce your overall operating costs, improve air quality in the home, and extend the life of your system. If you sign up for Air Experts’ maintenance plan, you’ll enjoy additional perks including guaranteed same-day service if your furnace breaks down and a 15-percent discount on repairs. The ideal time for heater maintenance is early fall before you’ve turned the heat on for the first time. If you’ve missed that window, however, just schedule your visit as soon as possible.
You should change the filter in your HVAC system once a month for the best performance. Your heater has to work harder to pull air through a clogged filter. Stock up on extra filters as you’re equipping your home for the fall and winter. This way, you’ll always have a fresh filter on hand for a quick swap when you notice it’s time for a new one.
Repair Your Sidewalks
Sidewalk repair is best done in early fall before the temperatures get too uncomfortable for outside chores. A seriously cracked or pitted sidewalk is not only unsightly, but it can present a serious trip hazard. Keep your home safe this season by performing a DIY repair job. Use a saw and masonry blade to remove the damaged section of sidewalk. Remember to wear proper eye protection for this step. Refill the area with a sand or concrete patching mix. Flatten carefully with a trowel, and rope off this area for a few days while the new sidewalk hardens.
Seal Air Leaks
If your home isn’t properly sealed, hot air will seep right through the cracks this winter, and your utility bills will skyrocket. Prevent heat loss by inspecting and sealing your doors and windows early in the season. Add weatherstripping around the movable part of your doors and windows. Seal cracks around stationary parts of the doors and windows with caulk. This job is quick and simple and makes a big difference in your home’s energy efficiency.
Check Your Outdoor Lighting
In the summer months, long daylight hours allow your outdoor lighting to take a break. As winter approaches, it becomes increasingly important to have functional lighting around the exterior of your home. A well-lit pathway reduces the chance of slips and falls, particularly after a snowfall. Check all your outdoor bulbs and replace as needed.
Drain Your Faucets
Outdoor faucets and irrigation systems can freeze if they’re left with standing water in them throughout the winter. Take a few moments to drain them before cold weather sets in. You can do this by shutting off water valves to outside faucets and opening the faucets themselves. Disconnect and drain any hoses or other accessories and put these away for the season.
Inspect Fire Safety Systems
Cozy fires and glowing candles warm up cold nights, but they also present a potential fire hazard. Make sure your fire-safety systems are in working order. Test your smoke alarm, inspect your fire extinguisher, and review your fire-safety plan with everyone in the house.