Depending where you live, autumn signals cooler temperatures and a reminder that winter is around the corner. It’s a great time to perform seasonal maintenance on your home.
Here’s a fall home maintenance checklist to help you get started:
• Check for burned out lightbulbs, especially in areas like stairways or hallways that could leave an area dark and prove to be a trip hazard. Simple repairs can prevent accidents.
• Replace smoke and carbon monoxide batteries (unless you have new detectors with 10-year batteries). Test all detectors to assure they are functioning properly.
• Have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional. If your a capable handyman here’s a Chimney Cleaning DIY guide to tackle it yourself.
• Examine your fire extinguishers. The pin and tamper seal should be intact and the pressure reading at the correct level. Make sure family members know where they are and how to use them.
• Do an emergency drill with your family so they know how to respond to a potential emergency. Call 911? Where are the emergency escapes? Where will the family meet outside of the home?
• Test all GFCI outlets to assure they are functioning as they should.
• Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and air filters to remove grease and prevent fires.
• Does your garbage disposal have a foul odor?
Grind a 1/2 lemon or lime. For a deeper clean, pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda down the disposal followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar — poured in slowly. It will foam. Wait about a minute and rinse with running water.
• Clean the refrigerator coils (refer to manufacturer’s paper or online manual for instructions).
• Check the kitchen and other sinks for slow drips and leaks. Repair or call a plumber if needed.
General Household Maintenance
• Check your furnace and clean the filter if needed.
• Replace HVAC filters.
• Have your furnace serviced before winter.
• Flashlight batteries often go unnoticed until you need them. Check and replace.
• Change your internet passwords. (Experts recommend doing this every three months)
• Test outdoor security lights around the home to assure they are functioning properly.
• Walk around the house inspecting the walls and foundation for any indications of water leaks (stains, rotting wood), or termite, wasp or other insect damage. Call a professional if needed.
By taking a few minutes to follow these fall maintenance tips now, you could prevent a more serious issue in the future.