With the feel of fall in the air, it’s time to think about getting your home ready for colder weather. Much of the routine maintenance that needs to be done this time of year will not only help keep you cozy this winter, it will also save money on your heating bill and protect your biggest investment—your home.
While most of these routine maintenance tasks are fairly simple, make sure they get done before cold weather arrives to prevent damage to both your home and wallet.
Trim the landscaping around your home. Fall is a good time to remove things that won’t do well when the snows come. Trim any plants or bushes that have become overgrown during the summer months. Once the first leaves begin to fall, rake them up and get them off your lawn. This makes it much easier to keep your lawn clear through the fall.
Clean the gutters and downspouts. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Consider installing gutter guards to make the job a lot easier.
Drain and shut off your outdoor hose. To prevent exterior water pipes from bursting when the weather gets below freezing, turn off the valves to the exterior hose bibs. Run the water until the pipes are empty. Make sure all the water is drained from the pipes, if not; the water can freeze up and damage the pipes.
Inspect your roof, or hire a licensed professional to examine your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If you have a lot of damage, it’s time to replace the entire roof. Also, check the flashing around skylights, pipes and chimneys. If you have any leaks or gaps, heavy snow and ice will find its way in.
House fires are more frequent in the fall and winter. Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries as needed. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace if needed.
Repair heating systems and duct leaks. If you’ve been putting off a heating system repair, now is the time to take care of it—before a sudden breakdown catches you by surprise. Have a professional repair your heating system and seal any leaks in the duct work to save energy for the rest of the season.
Pay attention to the thermostat settings. Readjust your thermostat settings so that the unit automatically adjust to your schedule each day. Lowering the temperature by 10 degrees for 8 hours a day (while you are at work, for example) can cut your energy bills by 15%, or more if you also schedule a maintenance visit.
Change any filters. One of the most important aspects of heating maintenance (for a furnace or heat pump) is changing the filter so that the system is able to operate properly.
Schedule professional maintenance. Professional maintenance is a wise decision to make each year for both your air conditioning and heating systems. Schedule an appointment today so that you can be confident that your unit is as safe and efficient as possible.
Once the weather starts turning colder, it is time to shut down your air conditioner system for the season and prepare your heating system. Taking the time to correctly shut down the A/C system helps keep your system operating at peak performance come next Spring.
Make sure the damper for the humidifier is in the “OPEN” or “WINTER” position.
Turn the controller on the humidifier thermostat to the “ON” position and set it to the desired set point.
If you use a cover on your outdoor A/C unit, make sure to turn the breaker to the “OFF” position. This way, if you should forget to remove the cover next spring you can avoid damaging your A/C system.
Open all registers for proper heating.
Set the “SYSTEM” switch on the thermostat to the “HEAT” position. Adjust the thermostat to the desired temperature setting. Remember to update any pre-programmed settings for the colder months.
If you have an A/C cover, put the outdoor A/C unit cover on AFTER turning off the A/C system and remembering to shut off the A/C breaker
Call the HVAC professionals at Advantage Airtech ClimateCare today for more helpful advice and for professional heating maintenance in Durham region.