It may not feel like fall yet here in New Jersey, but fall will be quickly making its way to us. That’s why now is the perfect time to prepare your home. Most of the home maintenance tasks we’ll recommend are fairly easy to perform yourself, while others are best left to the professionals.
Let’s start with the fairly easy tasks first.
• Empty garden hoses and detach them from the hose bibs. This will help prevent water in outdoor pipes from freezing. Don’t forget to shut off the outdoor water valves.
• Flip the switch on your ceiling fan to rotate your fan clockwise. This will bring warmer air down instead of up to the ceiling.
• Inspect the exterior of your home for any cracks or gaps that you think may pose a problem.
The last thing you want is water in these gaps, freezing and expanding. When this happens, the result is often damage to your masonry and foundation. Besides damage caused by water, these gaps are a perfect place for air leaks to occur.
There’s nothing worse than sitting on your couch during a fall day, suddenly to feel a cold breeze pass across the room. Leaking air can account for a 20% increase in heating costs. Caulk and weather stripping are often a great solution to air leak problems.
• Install storm windows and screens if applicable to your home.
• Check your roof for missing or loose shingles. Missing shingles can lead to water damage inside your home. Drywall, electrical, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems can be affected.
• Have your furnace tuned up by a professional to ensure it runs smoothly during the fall and winter seasons. Beat the crowds, by doing this earlier rather than later.
• Have your wood stove or fireplace cleaned.
• Change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
• Clean humidifiers so bacteria aren’t getting distributed throughout your home when you use it.