Sunday, October 05, 2008

Preparing Your Home for Fall

Clean the air ducts in your heating system. Vacuum dirt from all floor vents, baseboard heaters and the cold air return. Dust build-up is a major cause of indoor dirty air. In a home that is insulated and air tight for the winter, dust increases the possibility of illness.

Check the heating system. Change the filter every month, check the pilot light and burners in a system fueled by gas or oil. Fireplaces, boilers, water heaters, space heaters and wood burning stoves should also be serviced and checked every year.

Clean out your gutters. Remove all debris that slows down the ability for your gutters to drain effectively from the roof. Standing water in your gutter can freeze and thaw, which will crack and break your gutters.

Check the roof. Look for loose or missing shingles, gaps in the vents and flues, as well as damaged mortar around the chimney. Immediate maintenance can prevent emergencies and expensive repairs.

Check steps and handrails. Repair any broken steps and secure all loose banisters.

Inspect exterior walls and window sills. Check walls and window sills for damage such as cracks, gaps, loose or crumbling mortar, along with splitting and decaying wood. Caulk exterior joints around windows and doors, which will lower heating bills

Remove any damaged tree limbs. Dead branches will damage a roof or a deck if they break and fall off.

Test all smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors. Often alarms and detectors go unattended. Batteries should be changed every six months. Most people change them when they have to reset their clocks for daylight savings in the spring and fall.

Pools, sprinkler systems and outside faucets. Homeowners can shut down outside faucets, and disconnect all outside hose bibs from hoses. Professionals should blow out and winterize sprinkler systems.Remove all pond equipment.

Preparing your home in the fall will allow you to keep the cold air of winter outside. For a free checklist of additional items to complete before Old Man Winter arrives contact The H Team

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