Fall is in full swing, which also means winter is on the way. Living in Alberta, we all know our cold weather can be harsh. But did you know? The cold temperatures can also be harsh on your home. We’ve put together a checklist to help you prepare your home for the colder days of fall and winter. Doing these basic things this fall will help keep your home in good shape and prevent problems that could arise later down the road.
Fall maintenance doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it’s essential for the well-being of your home. This checklist breaks down some of the simple tasks that should be completed for the interior and exterior of your home this fall.
THE INTERIOR OF YOUR HOME
Check your Furnace
- Fall and Winter are the busiest months for your furnace, be sure to check it’s running in tip-top condition. Make sure your ‘maintenance switch’ has been turned on and switch your thermostat to ‘on’ or ‘auto’ depending on your preference.
- Fall is also a good time to change your furnace filter (this should be done quarterly). With the increased use over the colder months, your furnace will be pushing more air through your home and your filter will go through increased wear.
- Manufacturers generally recommend having your furnace inspected and professionally cleaned every 2 years. If you are in a home with pets or are someone with allergies, more frequent cleanings can be beneficial.
Adjust your Humidifier
- Be sure to check the humidity levels in your home regularly. If you have condensation or water build-up on your windows, this is an indication that the humidity in your home is too high.
Check Smoke Detectors
- Fall is a great time to change the battery backup in your smoke detector & carbon monoxide detectors.
THE EXTERIOR OF YOUR HOME
Inspect & Clean Gutters
- During the fall, it is important to check your gutters for leaves. When the gutters get clogged by leaves and other debris, the water doesn’t flow – this can cause it to pool and damage the roof.
Disconnect Water Hoses
- It’s very important to remember to detach your garden hoses at the end of the season. If they aren’t removed, they can freeze your pipes and potentially cause them to burst.
Lift up or remove your downspouts
- It is recommended that you lift your downspout extension or remove it for winter. The weight of snow and ice could damage them. You also want to make sure that all downspouts are clear, as a backup could cause your downspout to freeze and crack.
Prep your lawn for winter
- To ensure your lawn is healthy and comes back beautifully next spring, raking up all the leaves and debris is important for many reasons. First, if these are left they can smother the grass which inhibits growth and can cause the grass to die. Second, it can promote the growth of snow mold (yuck!). Not only is this bad for your grass, but it is also unhealthy for you as it can trigger allergies and asthma. Last but not least, critters such as voles and mice love to make their homes in lawns with leaves. They may be cute but, they cause great damage to your grass come springtime.
One of the biggest benefits of buying a new home is having a new home warranty that can keep you covered if unforeseen issues arise with your home. What some new homeowners don’t realize, though, is these maintenance tasks should be performed regularly in order to keep that warranty valid. This fall maintenance checklist helps keep you on track for a healthy home & keeping your warranty valid!