Your fall and winter will be more pleasant when you complete this simple fall home maintenance checklist. If you see any issues, you can quickly have them fixed before the bad weather starts. You can also start a maintenance list for the following spring, for those items which can wait a few months.
⬜ Lower the temperature of your hot water tank to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (or lower) to save on energy costs.
⬜ Install carbon monoxide & smoke detectors on every floor of your home, and replace batteries annually.
⬜ Add insulation between your walls, in your attic, floor, and basement.
⬜ Insulate windows from the inside with plastic film and install storm windows.
⬜ Insulate pipes with R-value practical pre-slit pipe foam, and fasten with duct tape. This works best when the pipes are warm to the touch.
⬜ Have your ducts tested and checked by a professional test. Repair any duct problems. Ducts should be cleaned of debris. If there is excessive dust, then it may indicate cracks or chips that need to be fixed.
⬜ Have your furnace checked and maintained by a professional before winter starts.
⬜ Change your furnace filters monthly during the cold season. Choose a permanent, non-imitation HEPA filter to remove minute airborne particulates from the air and to prevent allergies.
⬜ Drain all hoses and air conditioner pipes to prevent freezing & bursting. Turn off all indoor water valves to exterior hose bibs, then turn on the hose bibs to allow water to drain fully.
⬜ Turn off all exterior water spigots.
⬜ Seal any water leaks you find in your sprinkler or water faucets.
⬜ Remove and store your portable window A/C units.
⬜ Schedule a gas fireplace inspection. Seal it off if you are not using it or it is broken.
⬜ Change the direction of your ceiling fans to clockwise. Clockwise will warm the air, while counter-clockwise will cool the air.
⬜ Install all storm doors & storm windows. Remove and store all screen doors and windows.
⬜ Check for door drafts with your hand. If you can’t immediately apply insulation, cover them with a rolled up towel or throw rug. Don’t worry about the gaps to interior doors. These need to be uncovered for heat circulation.
⬜ Lower your thermostat a couple of degrees if you’re not going to be home for eight hours or more. Programmable thermostats are handy as they can be adjusted to bring your home to a comfortable temperature about twenty minutes before you arrive home.
⬜ Purchase an energy monitor to show household electrical usage in real time. Compare it to your electrical utility bills. If there is a discrepancy, contact the city for a service call.
⬜ Add caulk & weather stripping to areas around chimneys, where pipes or wires exit, around windows, around outlets and light switches, and along the foundation where different building materials meet.
⬜ Purchase small electric fireplaces for colder rooms.
⬜ Bring out your sweaters and slippers early. Wear them inside of cranking up the heat.
⬜ Rake all leaves from the front and back yards, and aerate your lawn.
⬜ Touch up exterior siding and trim with paint. Repair or replace broken, cracked, chipped, or worn siding.
⬜ Inspect the roof for missing, loose, or damaged shingles.
⬜ Check the attic for leaks. Fix your roof and interior if there is damage.
⬜ Power-wash all window, siding, pavement, and driveways.
⬜ Mend any cracks or gaps in driveway & walkway
⬜ Steam clean all carpets in your home.
⬜ Clean the window and door screens. If they’re removable, remove, wash, and store in a secure and dry spot.
⬜ Inspect your exterior door hardware.
⬜ Repair all squeaky handles and replace loose locks.
⬜ Check for frayed cords and wires on all electronics in your home.