The best way to protect your home, likely your biggest investment, is through preventative maintenance. What may be only a small problem now could develop into a disaster down the road. And the time and cost of preventative care is only a fraction of what you might have to spend if you neglect it. Here’s a checklist of tasks that we recommend for every home as the Autumn season sets in.
- Winterize air conditioning systems. Greenwich Home Management recommends replacing filters at the end of the usage season so the older dusty filters are not compromising your system.
- Get heating system ready for winter. Check for leaks around windows and doors. Make sure heating vents are open and not blocked by furniture. Greenwich Home Management makes sure their customers furnaces are serviced/inspected annually
- Flush hot water heater and remove sediment. This prolongs the life of the heater and helps with efficiency as well.
- Turn off and flush outdoor water faucets. Also flush hoses and store them. Winterize sprinkler systems.
- Clean gutters and downspouts. Once most of the leaves have fallen, have gutters and downspouts cleaned out. Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding. Don’t forget any sunken window wells!
- Get chimney cleaned. You most likely have not used it in a few months and want to make sure it is in top shape for those cozy nights at home.
- Test sump pump. You don’t want to wait until you need your sump pump to find out it is not working.
- Check driveway/pavement for cracks. Make sure to have re-sealed before winter; water can freeze and expand in the cracks, causing more damage.
- Make sure you have snow removal planned. Don’t wait until that first big snowfall to look for a snow plowing service provider!
- Inspect, and possibly change out HVAC filters. Many experts will say to change the filters monthly, but that is not always necessary. Greenwich Home Management has found for smaller families without pets or allergies, changing the filters every 2-3 months is sufficient. If the filter is dirty, we change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.
- Inspect the exterior of your home. Is any paint chipping? Is any siding damage? Are there any holes in your brick? Take a close look all around your house, and be sure to check the foundation for any cracks. Make sure there are no entry points for little critters looking to escape the cold!
- Test smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. Another simple task; your detectors should have a reset button. If the alarm sounds, you are good to go. If not, replace batteries immediately and test again. If it still does not sound, it is possible there is simply corrosion on the battery terminal, and it won’t detect new batteries. Clean it and try again. If it still doesn’t work, you will likely need a new detector.
- Inspect your fire extinguisher’s. This inspection doesn’t require much: ensure it has easy access (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.
- Clean kitchen sink disposal. Greenwich Home Management finds the best all-around solution seems to be vinegar ice cubes. Put some vinegar in an ice tray and let it freeze, then run the ice cubes through the disposal. It freshens it, but as a bonus, ice sharpens the blades. This is a helpful task to do at the change of each season.
- Clean range hood filters. Your indoor kitchen will be used a lot more over the long winter evenings. Greenwich Home Management suggests simply using a degreaser from an auto parts store mixed with hot water. Let the filter sit for a few minutes, rinse it off, and you’re good to go.
- Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces. This mostly applies to guest bathrooms, or any other sinks/water sources you don’t use on a regular basis. The idea is to prevent grime or any other kind of build up. Regularly running a little bit of water through will prevent this.
- Check water softener, add salt if needed. For homes with wells, you shouldn’t need to add salt every month, but better to check anyway, as it only takes about 5 seconds.
- Test the pressure relief valve on your water heater. This will prevent mineral and corrosion buildup, which safeguards against leaks. It will also help your heater run more efficiently.
- Vacuum the coils in the refrigerator. The fridge can use up to 15 percent of your home’s total power, so you want it running as efficiently as possible. Over time, the coils get dirty and your fridge requires more juice. You can save up to $100 a year by doing this, and it’s not at all a difficult task.
- Check trees for interference with electric lines. Have professionally trimmed if necessary.
- Inspect roofing for damage, leaks, etc. A simple inspection of your roof by an expert before the snow and ice arrive will give you great peace of mind this winter!
For assistance with these or any other home maintenance or repair tasks contact us.
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