The best way to protect your home, likely your biggest investment, is through preventative maintenance.
Clean behind the fridge
Fall is a great time to defrost and clean your refrigerator and freezer. Make sure you pull the refrigerator away from the wall to vacuum the condenser coils. Use a long, narrow, brush to dust off bottom-mounted coils.
Inspect your furnace
Save time and buy a winter’s supply of furnace filters now. To get maximum energy savings, change the filters monthly. Also, schedule an annual checkup for your furnace now. It’s best to schedule the appointment for three to four days after you begin running your furnace for the season, but check first with your service expert.
Clean the gutters
Whether you hire it done or do it yourself, cleaning your gutters twice a year is one of the most important things you can do to protect your home. Wait to do it until all the leaves have fallen, but before the risk of ice is real, and replace damaged gutter pieces if necessary.
Inspect your roof
Look for signs of deterioration such as loose shingles, rotting wood, or cracks. Carefully trim heavy branches that are hanging over your roof. If the branches are near power lines, call a professional tree-trimming company to do the work. They may need to ask your power company to temporarily disconnect power before they start working.
Check all windows and doors
Remove summer screens and install storm windows and doors. Inspect and repair any loose or damaged windows or doorframes. Install weather-stripping or caulk around windows and doors to reduce drafts and save money and energy.
Inspect the laundry room
Check your dryer’s exhaust tube and vent for built-up lint, debris, and even bird nests! Make sure the exterior vent is closed tightly when not in use. And refresh the air in your laundry room by using Glade Fabric & Air Odor Eliminator. It eliminates tough odors, especially those from odor-causing bacteria.
Secure the cracks
Don’t let your home house any unwanted invaders. Before critters start seeking shelter from the cold, inspect the perimeter of your house for cracks or holes where they could enter and seal them well. If you detect evidence of animal activity—such as urine odors, unexplained gnaw marks, droppings or footprints—consult an exterminator.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re working properly (you should do this once a month), and change the batteries in all of them at least twice a year. If you don’t have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed, now’s the time to do it!
- Cover your air conditioning unit
- Repair and seal driveway
- Plant flowering spring bulbs
- Clean and store summer garden tools
- Drain hoses and shut off outdoor water valves
- Clean and apply sealer to decks
- Cover and store outdoor furniture and grills
- Empty dirt from flowerpots and garden containers