With the first few leaves starting to change and 80-degree temperatures in the rear-view mirror that can only mean one thing here in New England…a multitude of pumpkin-spiced products are back on the shelves of your grocery store! Although that’s true, it’s also a key time to tackle important home maintenance projects to keep your home in tip-top shape through the Winter months. The RIHI Team has put together the following checklist to get you started.
1. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors
Sitting up on your ceiling or in the basement somewhere it’s easy to forget about these important devices that keep you safe 24/7. Simply test each one to ensure they are working and replace batteries where necessary. Safe experts also recommend replacing any detectors that are 10 or more years old.
2. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans to make your home feel warmer.
By reversing the direction of your ceiling fans, the warm air near the ceiling (as we all know heat rises) will push this air down to your living area. This simple task will help cut your heating costs this winter.
3. Check all windows and exterior doors for air leaks.
In the winter, another way to help keep those heating bills in check is to keep that cold blustery air out of your home. There are some simple DIY solutions like weatherstripping, caulking around gaps, or other types of sealants. If your windows and doors have had a good long life, replacement might be the way to go, and you’ll want to call in a pro like RIHI.
4. Clean Your Chimney
Let’s face it, one of the best ways to deal with a New England Winter is with a toasty fire in the fireplace. Fall is a great time to get your fireplace inspected and cleaned to make sure it is clear of buildup and creosote which is made up of harmful tar and toxin that is a result of burning wood.
- Schedule A Furnace Tune-Up
As the saying goes “an ounce of prevention…” which is never truer than with your furnace. So don’t wait till that frigid December night for your furnace to shut down and literally leave you out (or I guess it would be) in the cold. Start with vacuuming dust and debris from around the furnace and replacing the filter. Now if you hear some strange noises or there are strange odors coming from the furnace call and HVAC professional.
- Clean Out Your Gutters
While you can still enjoy a nice sunny Fall Sunday (before the Pats’ game starts of course) grab a ladder, a bucket, and a pair of heavy-duty gloves, so you can clear out the leaves and twigs that have built up over the past months. Taking this step now will allow rain and melting snow to drain properly and not find a way into your home.
- Disconnect Your Empty Hoses
This is an easy one…disconnect your hose from the spigot, drain your hoses, roll them up, and store them away. The alternative is frozen water that expands and bursts the hose, and then you’re buying new hoses in the Spring.