With Autumn 2013’s official arrival, homeowners are beginning to dig in to their list of annual fall chores in earnest. Angie’s List has consulted their top rated service providers and put together a checklist of the most important tasks to attend before cold weather hits.
1) Have your heating system serviced. Four out of five emergency calls answered by heating specialists could have been avoided through proper maintenance. Better to have your furnace checked now than to have it fail when the weather is freezing. This is also a good time to check your filters and replace them if needed. It’s an inexpensive way to help keep your system operating properly and reduce your heating costs.
2) Check your pipes. Cleaning the plumbing system to remove clogs can also help protect it from freezing, as can proper insulation. You might also want to drain your water heater to keep sediment from building up in the tank. This simple task can increase the heater’s efficiency by up to 50%.
3) Insulate. If your home isn’t properly insulated, this is one of the lowest-cost options for improving your energy efficiency. Caulking, sealing and weatherstripping where you find drafts in your home can also mean big energy savings. Angie’s List suggests walking through your home with a stick of incense or a candle, and watch where the smoke goes to find the drafts.
4) If you have a working chimney, find a good chimney sweep. Creosote build-up can lead to a chimney fire, which in turn can lead to roof fires as burning debris exits and lands.
5) Clean out those eaves troughs. Gutter blockage from dead leaves and debris can cause lots of problems, including (believe it or not) water in your basement. Gutters are meant to make sure rainwater flows properly away from the foundation of your home. When they don’t work, you’re asking for trouble.
6) Rake the leaves. Fallen leaves will deprive your lawn of the sunlight it needs during the fall months. Piles of leaves are also a breeding ground for unwholesome decay and pests.
The checklist also suggests a routine fall vehicle inspection and service as needed, and reminds us that it’s time to get that winter car survival kit into the trunk.
Remember that many of these tasks are best left to qualified professionals. You’ll find top quality service providers on Angie’s List. Join today!