All the evident signs of fall are already here: the school buses are slowing down your morning commute, pumpkin flavored everything is stocked at all your favorite markets, and the turning leaves of the beloved maple in your front yard will soon make you the envy of all your neighbors (until you have to clean them up). Although autumn is one of the busiest times for homeowners, it is the best time to take advantage of the moderate weather to repair any damages to your home before the frost settles. Listed below are a few home maintenance ideas that will keep your home running at it’s peak all winter long.
Take some time while the weather is perfect to go for a nice stroll – around the outside of your home. Now is the time to check your home for potential heat leaks. Openings in certain areas allows water to get in, water that will later freeze, adding more damage to your structure and leaving your home susceptible to mold. Caulking and sealing the areas listed below is a very quick (and inexpensive job) that will save you a ton over the course of the winter. Be sure to check:
-where the masonry meets the siding,
-where pipes or wires come into the house,
-and around windows and door frames.
Install your storm windows and doors and remove the screens. Before storing the screens, clean and repair them, and give them a good helping of protective coating. Make sure your screens are stored in a dry area of your basement or garage.
Inspect your roof. Ice, snow, rain, and wind combined with rapidly changing temperatures and humidity does to your roof what eating McDonald’s did to that guy in Super Size Me – it’s NO GOOD. Your roof is your first line defense in home protection. Without it functioning properly, water damage can occur, which causes deterioration to the insulation, wood and drywall, making electrical and HVAC systems vulnerable for malfunction. Save yourself the headache, and save your wallet the extra expense.
Have your heating system checked by a licensed heating professional. A puff back (to be fully explained in a later blog) is NOT something you want to deal with during the holiday season. Heating systems will use fuel more efficiently, last longer, and have fewer problems if properly serviced.
Change the direction of your ceiling fan. Most ceiling fans will allow you the option to do so, but research your make and model of your unit before ripping anything apart. Reverse mode re-circulates warmer air trapped near the ceiling down to the floor level, where it’s needed most. This little trick is said to lower energy costs during the winter by 15% or more! But be mindful…if you do reverse the direction of your ceiling fan, only use it on a low setting, otherwise you’ll create a windchill effect that will deaden what your goal is.
If you don’t have the luxury of central air, be sure to vacuum the internal parts of your air conditioner. Remove the units from your windows or cover the outside of the unit with an approved tarp or plastic to keep the vital insides from rusting.
There are many things to keep an eye on in the coming months to ensure your home remains in tip-top shape, and the internet holds a plethora of tips, hints and suggestions in addition to what I have mentioned. Having a keen eye and exploring different areas of your home will save you a ton in maintenance repairs and clean-up down the line. In the midst of all that, Markatos Services is there to help. In addition to helping you keep your home clean year round, we also offer a number of handyman services, specific to whatever your home needs. Give us a call for a quote today!