Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
Starting to pack away the summer outfits and decor items can be a bummer, but fall is such a special time of year to see all the colours, wear all the layers, and prepare your home properly as we buckle up for the colder months ahead. Let’s check out some of our favourite fall home maintenance tips:
Empty Those Gutters
Fall certainly does a great job of bringing the colours, but if you’re lucky enough to live in an area where all those big, beautiful trees show all the shades of the season, you also know that those leaves are preparing to fall, and a lot of times they can cause a headache for the gutters on your roof. Making sure your gutters are in good shape before autumn is a great maintenance tip to ensure you don’t find yourself on a ladder in the middle of the frigid Canadian winter.
Check Your Furnace Filters
Your air conditioning has been doing a lot of heavy lifting for the last few months, so doing a basic check-up on your furnace can be a smart move to ensure you’re not dealing with any catastrophic issues when you REALLY need a warm home. Checking the furnace filter is a good first start, and for those of you that also have a humidifier attached to your furnace, make sure that filter is in good shape as well. It’s also a good idea to have an HVAC handyman in your contacts list for service calls.
Check Your Detectors
We’ve all heard that we should check our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly, but timing your checks when the seasons change works just as well. A lot of these units are hard-wired into houses nowadays, so a simple push of the “test” button should suffice to ensure that your unit is in proper working order. One thing to always remember is that although the units may have the power fed to them through the home’s electrical supply, these smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have backup batteries that need to be changed.
Small tip: Familiarize yourself with the different types of “beeps” these units can make – some are for low battery, some can be more serious. It helps to know what beep you’re hearing so that you can make the right decisions for you and your family should a situation arise.
Water Your Grass (Yes, Really!)
Even with the chill in the air and the leaves on the ground, your grass still needs some vital H20 to survive over the winter and recover from a stressful summer. The fall is also prime fertilizing time, and the fertilizer needs water to soak into the ground. So, until the ground is close to freezing, keep that hose handy. Ideal times are between 6am – 10am, and there’s no need to do it every day.
Check Windows and Doors for Air Leaks
It would be such a shame to have your furnace running efficiently, keeping your home nice and toasty, only to realize that you could be losing upwards of 30% of the energy from pesky air leaks in the seals of your windows and doors. Luckily, there are cheap and easy solutions to diagnose the problems and fix them.
To check if you have a leak, hold a candle or a lit stick of incense along the seals of your windows. If the flame bends or the smoke moves, you know you have an air leak (thanks to www.houselogic.com for the handy trick!). To fix the seals, buy some new weatherstripping and caulking at your local hardware store and use a great resource like YouTube to find out how to make the fixes.
You made it! Your house is officially fall ready, and with that can come all the fall fixings; pumpkin spice candles/lattes/everything, all the pecan pies, and so much butternut squash soup you could fill a kiddie pool with it. Enjoy this beautiful time of year!