Maryland Fall Home Checklist
Making sure to prepare your home for the fall and winter months - especially if you live in a snowy state, like ours - can prevent you from shelling out money for emergency repairs.
Here are our top tips to get your home ready during the fall.
1. Flush Out the Hot Water Heater
The hot water heater is something that should be cleaned out regularly to prevent sediment from gathering at the bottom of the tank. The sediment can build up in the bottom and decrease the lifespan of the water heater. Avoid a cold shower on a cold day by flushing out your water heater once a year!
2. Winterize the A/C Unit
Winterizing is a term that is used for a lot of household items - and even things like boats and RV’s. Luckily, winterizing an A/C unit is one of the easier things to do. Since you likely won’t need to A/C unit in the winter, making sure that it is shut off and covered to protect it is important to make sure it is working when you turn it back on next season.
To winterize an A/C unit, make sure to remove everything that has collected on top of and around it - sticks, grass, bugs, etc - and then wash it off with a hose to get rid of everything else like dust and mud. Make sure to install rubber pipe insulation around the units’ exposed pipes to protect them from freezing. Finally, cover the unit with a cover to keep debris and animals from getting into it during the winter.
3. Clean Out the Fireplace and Chimney
If your house has a chimney and a fireplace, it is recommended to clean and have them inspected yearly to make sure that they are safe to use. It is typically best to have chimneys inspected by a professional, because they can be dangerous without the right equipment. They can also give it a thorough cleaning, that will prevent fires starting from embers lighting debris.
4. Check the Windows
Windows are easy to forget about checking regularly, but they should be checked at least once a year, if not more. It is recommended that windows are checked for loose framing and damage in the fall, to make sure that they are in good condition for the winter. Windows are the source of energy loss for a lot of homes if they are not properly sealed, which can make your bills go up during the colder months. To increase your energy efficiency: install weather stripping or caulking around windows, install energy-efficient blinds, and use blackout curtains. These three things can help prevent drafts from coming in and keep your home insulated, which can reduce your energy bill and overall consumption.
5. Shut off Exterior Faucets
Shutting off the exterior faucets and disconnecting garden hoses is important to do so that the water doesn’t leak out and cause the pipes to freeze and crack. It is best to turn off the water supply to the exterior faucets completely to make sure that water cannot be released.
Make sure to drain all of the water out of garden hoses after disconnecting them, then store them inside until the spring when you need them again.
6. Prepare the Heating System
Getting the furnace up and running before winter hits is one of the smartest things to do during your fall maintenance. Waiting to test your equipment when it's already cold could cause a higher HVAC repair fee and longer wait times to get the unit fixed. Stay warm - don't wait!
7. Test the Sump Pump
If your home has a sump pump, make sure to get it inspected or test it out yourself before winter comes! If the sump pump cannot keep water from snowmelt and rain away from your foundation and it gets into the basement, this could cause a lot of problems, like mold!
Call a professional to test your sump pump or DIY if you are handy. You should test your sump pump regularly throughout the fall and winter, whenever there is a heavy downpour.
Be Prepared For The Fall And Winter With These Tips!
Regular home maintenance is important to keep your home in good condition and to aid in avoiding major repairs and unexpected costs.