Labor Day is over. The kids are back in school. Autumn makes its official debut on September 22nd. Before you know it, we’ll be turning on our heating systems and wishing for the warm weather again.
While the weather is pleasant, make sure your home and HVAC system are ready for the change in seasons.
Tackle these fall home maintenance tasks now and enjoy stress-free autumn and winter holidays with family and friends.
Trim Trees and Shrubs
Before winter arrives, take the time to trim all your surrounding trees and shrubs, especially dead ones. Dead branches can pose a serious hazard to your home when it snows and storms.
Additionally, you want to make sure your outdoor HVAC unit is protected. Make sure there aren’t any overhanging branches that could fall on the unit. Also, trim back any plants or shrubs that are encroaching on the unit.
You want to keep a minimum 2-foot clearance around the entire unit. Be careful when planting around your outdoor unit as we all know plants will grow.
Improve Outdoor Lighting
With the days getting shorter, you want to make sure all your outdoor lights are fully functional. Pay extra attention to your pathways, doors and entryways. They should be well-lit to provide easy passage. You may also want to think about adding motion sensors and light timers to improve security and efficiency.
While you are inspecting your outdoor lights, test the outdoor outlets for proper GFCI protection. Simply press the reset button, plug something in (the device should be on), then press the test button. The device should turn off. To turn the outlet back on, press the reset button again. If the device did not turn off, contact a certified electrician right away.
Tune Up and Store Window AC Units
If you have any window air conditioners, now’s a good time to perform some quick maintenance and get them ready for storage.
Remove the filter and either clean or replace it.
Clean and straighten the fins (use a fin comb).
Wipe the entire unit clean. Make sure it is completely dry before you store it.
Oil the motor if necessary (check the owner’s manual).
Unplug the unit and remove any insulation before storing it.
Get help when removing the unit.
Stand the unit in an upright position on blocks or a raised platform. Cover it tightly to protect it from dust, debris, and pest damage. A dry, cool place like the utility room or basement is probably the best choice.
You can also have your window air conditioner professionally tuned up and stored.
Unclog Your Drains
If your drains are slow or clogged, take care of it before the holiday season. You can try unclogging your drains with a plumber’s snake or a plunger. If you still can’t unclog your drains, contact a professional plumber for assistance.
Replace Furnace Filter
The furnace filter protects internal mechanisms of the heating system from contaminants in the air, principally dust and dirt. The filter will gradually pick up an accumulation of debris, much the same way that the filter in a clothes dryer will collect a thick layer of lint.
It’s important to inspect the air filter every 30 days to make sure it is clean. Dust and debris accumulation will eventually cause serious problems, including poor indoor air quality and unnecessary repairs. Never wait more than 90 days to clean or replace your air filter.
Learn more ways to improve indoor air quality.
Test Smoke and CO Detectors
Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 4th. This is a perfect reminder to check your smoke and CO detectors to make sure they have batteries and are operating properly. Remember, you should have at least one on each level of the home.
Paint, Roof, and Gutters
Once a year, you can change the look of your house and ensure that it looks like a newly built home all the time. Fall is a great time to inspect siding, trim, paint, window covers, roofs, and gutters. This will prevent rotting, further damage from wind, and leaks into your home.
Gutter maintenance is essential for fall and early winter so your home can handle the ice and snow. Unfortunately, gutter maintenance isn’t a fun chore.
If you don’t want to get out the ladder and clean the gutters yourself, consider hiring a professional. They should also be able to install gutter guards to keep leaves and other debris from clogging and damaging the gutter system.
Put Together an Emergency Plan
Hurricane Florence is threatening the Carolinas as we write. If you don’t have an emergency plan and kit, create one and practice it with your entire household. It’s important to know exactly what to do in the case of a fire or another life-threatening event. In an emergency situation, mere seconds make all the difference. Don’t wait; plan now.
Schedule Professional Furnace Maintenance
If you haven’t scheduled professional air conditioning maintenance yet, don’t wait any longer. Learn why you should schedule your professional furnace tune-up now before you start relying on it to stay warm.
Do-it-yourself projects are great for many things, but not when the work can potentially harm or kill you. Even seemingly minor DIY work could result in shocks, electrocutions, fires, and worse.
We highly recommend hiring a licensed, professional technician for nearly all electrical and HVAC work. If you do attempt any DIY work, however, triple check that the power is turned off at the circuit breaker and/or the device has been unplugged.
Contact OnTime Service for fast and professional electrical, plumbing, and HVAC service.