When the thermometer starts to drop and the temperature gets cooler, it's time to start thinking about getting ready for autumn. The weather can be unpredictable, and it's best to get a head start on seasonal work so you do not become unprepared. The following general "to-do list" can help you prepare your home for fall.
- Check for drafts: Reduce your heat bills and stay warmer during the fall and winter months by sealing or sealing any cracks in doors and windows to prevent drafts.
- Install storm windows: Store removable screens when it gets cooler and install storm windows in their place.
- Clean the chimney and fireplace: Remove any wood and ash from the fireplace and have a professional clean and inspect the chimney to keep smoke, soot and carbon monoxide out of your home. Make sure that the damper closes properly to reduce drafts.
- Winter your air conditioner: Disconnect and store removable window air conditioners. If you have central air, cover your outdoor unit to prevent damage from ice and debris. With an HVAC system, you must change the thermostat from cooling to heating, change filters and clean the air ducts.
- Drain your water heater: Now it's time to drain the water from your water heater and remove debris that has settled to the bottom of the tank.
- Clean gutters: Leaves, debris and animal nests must be cleaned from your drain pipes and gutters to prevent them from clogging. Check for leaks at the same time.
- Replace batteries in smoke detectors: Before starting a fire to remove the cold from the room, replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them to make sure they work properly.
- Switch off outdoor taps: Before the first freeze, drain your garden hoses and disconnect them from the outdoor taps. Turn off the taps and store your hoses in a dry place.
- Inspecting trees for damaged limbs: A winter storm can cause tree branches to fall off and damage nearby structures. Prune your trees to remove damaged limbs that may be prone to breakage or are too close to power lines or structures such as a balcony or roof.
- Store outdoor furniture: The end of summer is the time to clean and store your grass furniture. Store outdoor furniture in a dry place during the winter months.
- Inspect the roof: If you can do it safely, check the roof and look for loose, damaged or missing shingles. If you have a flat roof, remove leaves and debris that have accumulated during the summer months.
Make sure you have the right homeowners insurance
Homeowners insurance is designed to protect your investment in your home in the worst case. Commonly covered hazards include fire, wind, theft and certain types of water damage. Our knowledgeable agent can help you get the homeowner coverage you need at the best available rates.