What Areas Your Home’s Fall Tune-Up Should Cover
Depending on where you live in the United States, each season brings unique weather and attributes that mean different things for your home and yard. For example, in the late spring, your tune-up likely focuses on ensuring the air conditioning system is ready to handle summer, and a general spring cleaning of your home gets you ready for warmer weather.
So, since fall is well underway, here is a look at what areas you should consider tackling in a fall tune-up.
Winters can get cold, really cold. Your furnace could be the difference between a warm and toasty night and one spent shivering under layers of sweaters and bed comforters. Often, it is a good idea to call in a technician to perform inspection and maintenance, but if you feel confident enough doing it yourself, you can try. One thing you should be doing yourself every month is replacing the filter, so perform another replacement during the tune-up.
An inspection starts with a check for residue or soot around the furnace and includes a thermostat check to ensure the furnace is working and that the flames are consistent and blue. For those doing a self-inspection: If, at this point, if you notice the flames are flickering yellow or orange, contact a technician because there is a risk of combustion and carbon monoxide.
Cleaning comes next and entails the furnace cooling and using a vacuum to suck up dust. For tricky and out-of-reach areas such as the blower fan, use a rag. Your furnace may also need a little bit of oil, and some parts such as the fan belt may need to be repaired or replaced. It may also be that you decide it’s time for a new furnace if your fall tune-up and heating bills from last year show a need for it.
The furnace is the big area you should cover during a tune-up, so focus on that one aspect if that is all you have time or money for. If there’s room for more, look to your roof. First, you (or a technician) can clear the gutters of leaves and other debris, and search for holes, leaks, bald spots and the like on your roof. Shingles can help fix bald spots, and holes and leaks should be sealed.
Your furnace may be in tip-top shape, perhaps even newly purchased, but if you have leaks, your heating bills may stay high or even increase. Doors and windows are notorious places where you can find air leaks, and walls sometimes get them.
There’s spring cleaning, and then there’s fall cleaning. Your needs in spring are quite different than in fall, so it’s time to pack up the summer clothes and get the fall and winter gear out. Now you know where everything you need for the next few months is and won’t have to search every time you want something.
Your Plumbing Fixtures
Pipes are infamous for bursting during winter, so take a few steps to keep yours intact. For example, drain your water line and use Styrofoam to cover outdoor, exposed fixtures.
If you regularly use a humidifier, now is a good time to clean it with detergent. Doing so is not only good for your health, it also helps keep wood in good shape. You may need a hard-bristled brush to get rid of deposits.
The above list covers some of the top things a fall tune-up might cover. Of course, there is much more you can do if you have the time and want to. A chimney clean, an attic declutter, and a pool drain are just a few other tasks that could prove a good idea.