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Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Summer is almost over, and with the coming of fall comes thoughts of getting your home ready for winter. While “spring cleaning” is commonly tackled in the spring, fall is a time to focus on maintenance around your home. As the temperatures start to drop, here’s what you need to do to ensure your home is ready for winter.

1. Prep Your Plumbing

When temperatures dip below freezing, you need to know that your pipes aren’t going to freeze. Check your home for any exposed pipes in unheated areas, and add insulation to those pipes to prevent freezing. Prepping your plumbing now will prevent costly repairs later in the season.

2. Secure Your Outdoor Faucets & Hoses

Drain any hoses you still have up outside, and then disconnect them from the outdoor faucet. Store the hoses, and turn off the water to the outdoors. If you have a sprinkler system, drain it and turn it off.

3. Seal the Home’s Envelope

Cracks around doors and windows allow your heated air to escape. Take time now to seal cracks around doors and windows with fresh caulk. This will help your furnace run much more efficiently.

4. Schedule Your Furnace Maintenance Appointment

If you haven’t already scheduled annual maintenance for your furnace or heat pump, now is the time to do so. Fall is an excellent time to have your furnace calibrated and inspected to ensure it is ready for the demands of the upcoming winter season.

5. Clean the Gutters

If you leave leaves and debris in your gutters, you can create an ice dam. An ice dam is dangerous for your roof, making leaks and other costly damage more likely. Water needs a clear path off of your roof and away from your home, and that requires clear gutters.

6. Test Outdoor Lights

Your outdoor lights are going to get more use when the sun starts to set earlier, so make sure they’re working. Replace any bulbs that aren’t shining as brightly as they should.

7. Check Your Safety Devices

Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries. If they are nearing 10 years of age, replace the entire detector. Remember, carbon monoxide poisoning is a higher risk in the winter when you are running your furnace. If you have a fire extinguisher, check its expiration date, and replace if needed.

8. Take Out the Window AC Unit

If you were using window AC to cool any part of your home, take it out now that summer is over. If you cannot remove the window unit, cover it with insulation. It’s a huge gap that allows heated air to escape, so it is always best to take it down.

9. Clean the Dryer Vent

While this isn’t winter-specific, fall is a good time to consider cleaning your dryer vent. With the added static electricity in the air in winter, you have a higher risk for dryer fires when the vent is filled with lint. If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned the vent, consider hiring a pro to help.

One-Stop Shop for Home Services in Northern Virginia

For help with the tasks related to your plumbing and HVAC systems, give John Nugent & Sons a call. We will help you ensure that your home’s comfort and plumbing systems are ready for the challenges of winter—and we offer maintenance service plans so your HVAC systems stay in great working order—which will ensure a longer life!

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