Technical Papers

Fall Home Maintenance

Monday, October 10th, 2016 by Kelsey Wright

With fall comes the perfect opportunity to give your house a good, thorough inspection and perform any maintenance needed to keep you comfortable as the cold weather rolls in! 

Completing this checklist can extend the life expectancy of items in your home, reduce energy consumption, save you time, money and trouble in the future, and most importantly, ensure that you stay comfortable all year long!

1. Inspect Your HVAC System 

Your heating system needs to be in top condition in order to see you through the coming months, so now is a good time to make sure everything is in working order. Look at doing some basic maintenance like replacing filters, and consider calling Halco for your annual maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Annual maintenance can also help discover minor problems before they turn into major, costly repairs in the future.

Additional tips:

  • Clean your ducts. This will increase your heating systems efficiency and increase the quality of your indoor air.
  • Change batteries and set your programmable thermostat.
  • Bleed air from radiators and convectors.
  • Check for air leakage especially around joints. 

2. Inspect Your Home’s Envelope or Shell

The outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors and floors of your home are collectively known as its “envelope." The most cost-effective way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort is by insulating and air sealing it's envelope. When you have an energy assessment performed by a Halco Home Energy Advisor, it could reveal areas in your home where you may be losing energy and wasting money. A Halco advisor can also provide you with cost-effective solutions to those problems to ensure that your home retains all its heat during the cold months.

Additional tips:

  • Be sure attic insulation is not wet or missing.
  • Sufficient insulation in the attic is essential to preventing winter ice dams.
  • Make sure the attic vents are open and not obstructed. If you don’t have soffit or ridge vents, keep your gable vents open year-round to ensure proper ventilation.
  • If you have a ladder leading to the attic, insulate the hatch door.

3. Inspect your Windows and Doors

Install weather-stripping or caulking around exterior doors and windows to prevent cold drafts and to keep your energy bills low. Ensuring that your window locks work properly will also help keep the warm air in. Be sure to check for any loose or damaged windows or door frames and if you need replacement, contact Halco for a free estimate.

Additional tips:

  • Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows and doors.
  • Clean out basement window wells.

4. Inspect the Plumbing

There are few things worse than pipes bursting in the winter. Not only is it unpleasant and expensive, but it also seems to happen at the worst possible time. Ensure that your pipes, as well as the wall cavities that they reside in, are well insulated to prevent freezing and bursting.

Additional tips:

  • Know how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valve in case pipes do freeze. Label this shut off for family members.
  • Shut off water to exterior faucets.
  • Check for leaky faucets throughout your home. Replace when necessary.

5. Miscellaneous items throughout the home

  • Clean around air conditioner compressor and condenser coils.
  • Check and clean dryer vent, stove hood, and bathroom fans.
  • Check for moisture issues in the basement. Moisture issues now are a good indication that you will have additional issues once the snow begins to melt.
    • Be sure to shovel snow away from your foundation to reduce the chance of leaks.
  • Drain water heater and remove sediment from the bottom of the tank.
  • Ensure that all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order. Replace batteries, test them, vacuum them, and replace them if they are old.

For assistance in getting your home ready for the incoming cold weather, contact Halco today!

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