Getting Your Home Winter Ready In Fall
1 November, 2019
Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist 2019
Bright gold and orange, camping, fairs, and good cheer, fall brings drama in our lives. It’s the time for festivities and taking stock of what works. It’s also the time to run a stern reality check around the house and brace yourself for winter. South Texas fall is the ideal time to check which systems are working fine, what needs replacing and where you can maximize efficiency.
The yard and the garden, the walkway, HVAC, the chimneys, outdoor faucets, gutters, exterior walls, fire and smoke detectors, windows and shutters, supplies and everything else that will see you safely through the winter months demand to be put in place now.
Whether a new home or an old home, here’s a homeowners maintenance checklist to take care of your house in McAllen, Pharr or any other South Texas location this fall 2019:
1. HVAC inspection
Energy bills usually run high in the cold. Now is the time to turn them on gradually and detect faults. Ensure there is no blockage in the vents around the house, especially the space around heavy furniture. Clogged vents and ducts lay undue stress on an HVAC system, bringing down its efficiency and output by several notches. Check filters. Clean what can be cleaned; replace what must be replaced. If the warranty still applies, schedule a professional servicing and get it done before the winds of winter blow in. Heating and furnace settings require rigorous testing too. Winter nights may touch sub-zero degrees a few times in South Texas and in that case heaters and furnaces with help you stay snug.
2. Roof scan
The roof deserves at least an annual inspection if nothing more. A thousand things could go wrong with the roof. Cracked or twisted shingles, birds nest, mold, algae, dirt, grime, and debris is an unwelcome sight. Check for leakage. You might also want to enlist an expert in checking the roof for structural or functional faults. While a complete overhauling is not pleasant, adding strength to it certainly pays off in the long run.
3. Yard clean-up
Fall is the time to trim hedges. Heavy trimming, in fact, encourages plants to send out new shoots. Your trees will grow fuller in the spring. Cut back on overgrown or dead branches and let the light in. Trees are entering a relaxed growth period and you can help them prep for the winter by simple acts of pruning. Pruning prevents leaf and stem rot. When it gets colder seedlings won’t be able to sustain themselves so avoid transplanting them in fall. Leaves look their brilliant best in fall, and a pile of deep gold, red and sunset brown under the trees is a sight to remember. Yet, a thick cover of autumn leaves must be raked and removed before winter sets in. Fenced yards require inspection for gaps in the boundary around the house.
4. Kitchen care
Regular kitchen maintenance is the starting point of good health. During those months before winter, the kitchen needs a thorough cleaning. Remove all appliances from their docks and wash or wipe away the surface dirt. Check for snapped cords, food residue or infestation. Spray a good disinfectant, rinse the utensils, clean up racks, stoves, and ducts. Check the kitchen chimney. Ensure that all appliances are working efficiently. Give the walls a fresh coat after scraping grime off of the walls, cooking top, cabinets or shelves.
5. Energy expenses and insulation
Enlist professional help in auditing household energy requirements. Minimizing energy waste will go a long way in taking care of your home in winter. Fit door and window sweeps to strike a double bargain – stop warm air from escaping as well as cold drafts from entering the house. This also allows the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to work better. Sealing away the gaps also prevents bug infestation. The indoor air will remain well circulated, warm and fresh.
6. Air Conditioning displacement
With summer gone, the need for indoor cooling vanishes. Fall weather doesn’t normally demand the services of an AC. While split AC units do not affect indoor temperature much since they sit idly on the wall, window units definitely do since the cold gets in through the gaps in the wall. Take them off the window and cover the very large opening to block the inflow of drafts and dust. If it’s not possible to remove it, cover the unit along with the gaps. This should be high on your list of fall home repair.
7. Rain ducts and gutter check
Clean out these spaces as deeply as you can. Obstructed pipes or gutters gradually get flooded. Frequently, the surrounding walls start soaking up water. This not only weakens them over time but also turns them blotchy- a repulsive sight you can easily avoid. Regular cleaning should keep gutters free from both blockage and stench of standing water. Similarly, any sign of leakage needs immediate attention.
8. Winter stocktaking in early fall
It’s not that South Texas gets buried under 12 feet of snow starting fall, but there’s no harm in being prepared. Stocking up just doesn’t refer to food. It covers all necessary appliances, tools, emergency kits, and common sense. Batteries need to be recharged, gas reloaded and oil refilled. Power back-up is also essential.
9. Safety tools examination
Keep everything handy and ready for use. Things like fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and fire alarms should be up and running. As the air starts getting cooler, it gets drier too. Fire outbreaks are not unheard of in winter. Besides, sleeping with heaters may, unfortunately, lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, especially with the shutters down. CO poisoning causes acute breathing problems, choking, and loss of consciousness. It may also prove fatal. Prevent this by ensuring heating devices are functioning within safety norms.
Household maintenance is best done in fall. The heat is gone and cool winds are arriving. Homeowners only need to take precautions against the cold. A few ready reckoners make the task easy. Owning and maintaining a home during South Texas winters is not difficult if you have laid the foundation in autumn. A complete home care project is deeply beneficial for long-lasting happiness. Look for a custom home builder that is willing to go the extra mile for showing these and other home ownership tips.