1. Don’t let your pipes freeze
According to State Farm, something as little as an 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can cause serious flooding, structural damage, and mold. Before winter, you’ll want to do a few things to help ensure your pipes won’t freeze, including insulating pipes inside crawl spaces and attics, using heat tape or heat cables to wrap around pipes, sealing any leaks, and disconnecting garden hoses.
2. Perform air conditioning maintenance
Be sure to remove, clean, or replace any components of your air conditioning that collect dust and dirt after long periods. Evaporator coils, air filters, and fins are just a few of the things that should be cleaned semi-regularly to help avoid costly air conditioning repairs during the winter months.
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3. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
When it comes to smoke detectors, there are two tests that you can perform to be sure that they are working. The first is a basic test where you can simply press the test button on your detector until it beeps indicating it is working. Another way that you can test your smoke detector is by lighting a candle or other burning material and holding it 12 to 18 inches from your detector in what is called a crisis test. It is recommended to do a crisis test with someone else in case something goes wrong.
To test a carbon monoxide detector, like a smoke detector’s basic test, hold down the testing button on the detector until two beeps are heard. Do this once more until you hear four beeps, and then you can be sure that your test was sent to a monitoring station. It is important to check each device in every room of your home for safety.
4. Perform fireplace maintenance
During the cold months, you’ll want to use your fireplace to keep warm, but it’s extremely important to clean your fireplace in order to stay safe. Remove any debris or buildup in your fireplace or chimney and have a professional clean your fireplace flue and lines to prevent a buildup of creosote. Never treat your fireplace as a furnace. Don’t use it for more than five hours. Fireplace coals can remain hot for up to three days after burning so wait at least that long before cleaning out the ashes.
5. Check the exterior of your home
Check your exterior paint, siding, and patio or porch in the fall. The summer heat can often wear down paint so touch up any areas that need it. Also repair any siding before it lets water seep into your home. You should also prep your deck by checking for any cracks or weeds and by pressure washing, deck staining, and sealing.
When it comes to your home, safety and comfort are two of the most important things to focus on. Chores may be time-consuming, but they are all crucial for keeping your home up and running properly. Take advantage of these simple fall maintenance tips, and when winter comes around, you’ll be prepared and ready to take it on.
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