Home maintenance is a primary responsibility for every homeowner, Staying on top of a seasonal home maintenance schedule is important, and we’re here to help you figure this out so that you never fall behind. Don’t let minor maintenance and routine repairs turn into expensive disasters later due to neglect or simply because you aren’t sure what needs to be done and when. If you need help, we also provide quarterly home maintenance inspections, Book now here.
Fall Home Maintenance Tips
Fall is an in-between season where you’re finishing up your summer home maintenance tasks as well as getting your home ready for winter. Cold, snow, and rain can do a number to a home, so you don’t want to ignore winter preparation.
- Flush hot water heater and remove sediment. This prolongs the life of the heater and helps with efficiency as well. Click here for a step by step guide.
- Winterize air conditioning systems. Remove and store window units. While we don’t recommend covering your outside units, this would be a good time to clean them out of debris.
- Get heating system ready for winter. Check for any leaks in windows or doors; these can cost an arm and a leg. Make sure heating vents are open and not blocked by furniture. Get furnace serviced/inspected at least every other year, preferably annually. As with the AC, this shouldn’t be a huge expense. Don’t forget about fireplaces if you have them.
- Turn off and flush outdoor water faucets. Also, flush hoses and store them. Winterize sprinkler systems as well, if you have one.
- Get the chimney cleaned, if you have one. Some folks say to do this in the spring, some say fall. Either way, just make sure it’s done once per year.
- Test sump pump. You don’t want to wait until you need your sump pump to find out it’s not working.
- Check driveway/pavement for cracks. Make sure to have re-sealed before winter; water can freeze and expand in the cracks, causing more damage. More Tips here!
- Buy winter gear. Have sidewalk salt, good shovels, etc. ready for winter. You never know when that first snow will come!
- Inspect, and possibly change out HVAC filters.
- Clean kitchen sink disposal. There are a bunch of ways to do this, but the handiest and best all-around solution seems to be vinegar ice cubes. Put some vinegar in an ice tray and let it freeze, then run the ice cubes through the disposal. It freshens it, but as a bonus, ice sharpens the blades. You’re welcome. :) Home Depot has a great read on how to clean the disposal as well. Check this out.
- Clean range hood filters. If you’ve never thought of doing this, you’re in for a real “treat” when you get that filter off the hood to clean it for the first time. The Family Handyman suggests simply using a degreaser from an auto parts store mixed with hot water. Let the filter sit for a few minutes, rinse it off, and you’re good to go.
- Inspect your fire extinguisher(s). We’ll assume you have and know how to use an extinguisher. This inspection doesn’t require much: ensure it has easy access (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.
- Test smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. Another simple task; your detectors should have a “test” button. If the alarm sounds, you’re good to go. If not, replace batteries immediately and test again. If it still doesn’t sound, it’s possible there’s simply corrosion on the battery terminal, and it won’t detect new batteries. Clean it and try again. If it still doesn’t work, you’ll likely need a new detector.