While we’ve poured quality into every inch of our Oakley homes, there are some tasks you can do to ensure your home looks - and operates – just as wonderfully over time as it did at move in.
Here’s our Top 10 list of must-dos to prepare your home for the cold, winter months. Details surrounding each tip are also included.
- Have furnaces, humidifiers and A/C units inspected
- Get your chimney inspected and cleaned
- Clean out those gutters!
- Remove exterior hoses from spigots
- Winterize your sprinkler system
- Check near your foundation for low spots and fill any you find
- Do your final mowing, trimming your lawn to 1.25”
- Cut back perennials and trim any dead limbs
- Change your fire alarm batteries and air filters
- Flush unused drains with water
Furnaces, Humidifiers and A/C units: When your home’s equipment isn’t running properly, it can suck energy, emit harmful carbon monoxide or leave you with a machine that doesn’t work at an inopportune time. Having these pieces inspected every fall will prolong the life of each machine and can save you money over time.
Fireplaces: Have your chimney cleaned and inspected once per year as creosote buildup in the flue can cause a fire. Doing this in the fall ensures you are prepared to light a fire and enjoy a cozy night come winter.
Gutters: Mucked-up gutters and roof valleys can cause water to back up and potentially enter your home via the foundation, roof or crawl space … or even freeze inside your gutters and wreck them altogether. Get these cleaned at least once a year, the end of fall is often an ideal time to get this task done.
Outdoor Water Sources: Before the first freeze, remove all exterior hoses from spigots and winterize your sprinkler system to protect potentially damaging effects of frozen water. Spot check near your foundation for any low spots that have developed and fill any you find. This will ensure the soil slopes away from the house to avoid the potential for water damage in your basement.
Landscaping: As winter nears and you do a final mowing for the season, experts suggest cutting down to 1.25” inches as disease will have a harder time with short grass and this length also encourages leaf cover to blow over more easily. This is also a good time to cut back perennials and trim any dead branches.
Smoke Detectors: Avoid the middle of the night chirping and keep your home safe with functioning smoke detectors. A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries every six months - using daylight savings as a reminder to complete this task. Make sure that no dust, hair or fiber particles are obscuring the grates in the smoke detector, as such particles could cause the detector to not detect a problem.
Filters: Change your air filters approximately every two months. Checking furnace and HVAC filters is easy. Just turn off your system, pull out your filters and inspect them for dirt and grime. If the filters are dark and dirty looking, get replacements. Just remove the old filter (with the system turned off), slide the new one in and turn everything back on.
Sewer: Notice a foul odor in any room with a drain? Often times this can be due to a drain having not been used in a while or, a dried-out water seal in the floor drain. The solution can be as simple as running water down the drain – or if it’s in your basement, fill your sewer drain with water and top off with vegetable oil to slow down the evaporation process. If the odor persists, give a plumber a call.