With autumn upon us and while we’re enjoying cooler temperatures and the changing color of the fall leaves, it’s also time to think seriously about gearing up for winter! We have a few tips and reminders to help.
- Have your HVAC unit serviced and repaired, and keep spare filters available and dated so you’ll remember to change these out routinely. One idea you might consider is writing the name of each month on the side of the filters. When you check your supply, it will remind you to timely make refresh the filter. …and while you’re thinking about filters, remember your fridge filters too.
- Check your washer and dryer, and clean all vents and lint traps routinely. As with all home systems, be sure these are in good and safe working order.
- Inspect caulk around your windows, and weather stripping around your doors. Consider an energy audit with the help of your electric company if you’re hoping to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
- After the leaves fall… It may be a great time to have gutters and downspouts cleaned, and repaired.
- Be on the look out for signs of any roof leaks. If you have any concerns, or think a close inspection of your roof is due, call on a professional service to check the condition of your roof, and make any recommendations for maintenance or repairs.
- Make seasonal adjustments to your thermostats for safety, comfort, and cost savings. If you’re not yet using a programmable system, you may want to add this to your home improvement checklist.
- Have any fireplace or wood stove and chimney swept, cleaned, inspected, and repaired before use.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and be certain these are in good working order. Be sure the batteries are strong, and have extras on hand.
- Be sure you have contact details for all your utilities providers so you know how to report any outage or other problem or concern.
- If your home uses natural gas or propane, review safety information related to the systems, and how to know when there is a leak. Be comfortable with your knowledge base of all safety protocols, and who to call in case of an emergency.
- Consider having fire extinguishers in a couple of places in your home such that these are easily accessible in the event of an emergency.
- Stay up to date with weather forecasts, and watch for any dips into freezing temperatures. Remember to take precautions to protect your pipes. In addition to the plumbing lines that service the interior of your home, be sure to winterize your outdoor faucets as well.
If you have any questions, check in with the home inspector who helped you at the time of your current purchase. Touch base with area experts who specialize in the system about which you’re concerned. A good quality electrician or plumber or roofer is a great contact to have in your phone directory. You should also know how to reach your gas service provider. Check in with safety organizations dedicated to causes such as fire prevention. Call your insurance agent to see if they have resources to share. …and communicate actively with your homeowners’ association and your professional property management service. Most important is that you reach out to those professionals best qualified to help answer your questions, and to assist you with any concerns!
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