It’s time to start thinking about your autumn to-do list. Some of the easiest fall chores can save you big dollars on your energy bills — not to mention prevent major potential problems.
These are the maintenance tasks we recommend before temperatures drop:
1. Seal Drafts And Add Insulation
• Caulk, seal and weather strip: Pay special attention to drafts around doors and windows, especially if you haven’t installed new energy efficient windows.
TIP: A simple way to identify air leaks that can cost you money: Take a lit stick of incense or a candle and go around the perimeter of doors and windows. Drafts will pull the smoke in their direction, making it easier to see where the cold air is seeping in. Replace or add worn weather stripping or caulk in those spots.
• Measure your insulation: Check your attic to see if you have exposed joists if so, you should add more insulation. The amount of insulation you need depends on where you live — the cooler the climate, the more insulation you’ll need.
• Audit energy waste: A good way to improve your home’s energy efficiency, is to consider scheduling a professional energy audit for a thorough look at insufficient insulation and air leaks, which wastes energy.
2. Protect Your Plumbing
• Insulate your water lines: Look at your water lines and plumbing pipes — especially those on the exterior walls — and make sure they’re insulated to avoid frozen pipes and leaks during this winter. Cleaning all lines can help remove clogs that cause backups, which can freeze, then cause the weakening of pipes and bursting.
TIP: Wrap your pipes with insulation designed for plumbing. In many situations, good insulation will be all you need to protect the pipes.
• Drain your water heater: This can enhance your water heater’s efficiency by as much as 50%, by draining sediment buildup from inside the water heater holding tank.
• Remove and drain any outside hoses: Before the first freeze, you should detach outdoor hoses, drain any standing water and store them inside.
Drain your exterior faucets and close the interior shut-off valves to the hose bibs or spigots to prevent frozen pipes during the winter.
3. Check Your Gutters, Roof, And Chimney
• Clean your gutters: Dead leaves are the hallmark of autumn and can quickly pile up and lead to blocked gutters. Dead leaves and other muck can lead to backups that cause water damage or even contribute to an ice dam during the winter.
You can use a professional for gutter cleaning, or get up on a ladder and clean the gutters yourself. Even if gutters are not clogged at the start of fall, check again after the leaves have fallen.
• Inspect your roof: While you’re looking up, perform a visual roof inspection. Make sure your shingles are in sound condition, that none are missing and that they’re properly attached. Look for any sags or dips, which may symbolize a problem with the wood underneath your roof shingles. If your roof is more than 20 years old, consider scheduling an inspection with a roofing contractor.
• Schedule a chimney sweep: Creosote buildup can lead to a chimney fire, so get your fireplace and chimney cleaned before you put it back into use this winter. You should have your chimney inspected at least once a year, and more often if you use it regularly.
4. Service Your Furnace
• Schedule fall HVAC maintenance: A large majority of emergency service calls answered by heating specialists result from poor maintenance.
• Replace furnace filters: The new season is also the perfect time to check and change dirty furnace filters. Clean filters help your HVAC system run more efficiently, so it distributes heat better and cuts down on your energy costs. Plus, it’s an easy and inexpensive and task.
It is important to be careful when inspecting your roof or gutters. You should ideally hire a professional to inspect the home and give you a report. If you have any questions and would like to talk to a professional roofer, please get in contact. We’ll be more than happy to help.