With Labor Day Weekend fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about fall maintenance for your home. While it might be a little early for an HVAC tune-up (we’ve got another six weeks or so before OKC will be cool enough to require heating), there are several things you can do to prepare your home for the eventual weather transition. The temperatures in OKC this August have been a bit milder than usual, so take advantage of the cooler weather while you can.
Interstate has put together a list of essential tips for keeping your home safe throughout the fall and winter.
- Inspect Exterior – The summer heat can wreak havoc on your home. Check the exterior for peeling and other signs of weather damage. Peeling paint should be dealt with immediately as it signifies the coat is no longer protecting the siding. Also check for cracks in the wood – including doors and door frames.
- Clean Rain Gutters – Make sure your gutters are ready for the fall storms, which typically come on strong in September and October. It’s also important that the gutters be watched throughout the season to ensure proper drainage throughout the fall and winter. Blockage from leaves can contribute to mold, rot and ultimately roof leaks and interior damage.
- Inspect Roof – The rain, heat and humidity can cause great damage to your roof, especially an older roof that hasn’t been maintained properly. Inspect your roof for weather damage, tree detritus and missing or loose shingles. A leak in your roof can cause water damage, compromising the structure and electrical system of the home.
- Caulk Windows – Inspect the caulking on your windows to make sure that there are no cracks or gaps. Sealing your windows is one of the easiest home maintenance jobs – and it can also help you save substantially on your utilities. Openings in the fall and winter allow heat to escape and water to get inside. Water can lead to cracks in your foundation and promote mold.
- Inspect Fireplace – If you own a fireplace, it’s not too early to have it inspected. Your fireplace might even be used before you turn on your furnace for the first time, so it’s important to have it in working condition before the first day of cool weather. A yearly cleaning/inspection is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
- Reverse Overhead Fans – If you have ceiling fans on the patio, you will want to reverse them (as well as your indoor fans). In the winter, a ceiling fan should rotate clockwise at a low speed to pull the cool air up.
- Cover Air Conditioning – There is some debate as to whether or not you should cover your (central) air conditioner unit for the winter. Most manufacturers don’t recommend it, but seasonal weather in Oklahoma City can be brutal – and ultimately harmful to your condenser (outside unit). Our winter weather, especially ice storms, can cause major damage to homes. Consider investing in a cover if you have experienced particularly bad weather damage in your area.
- Yard Equipment Maintenance – Fall maintenance should always include the cleaning of yard equipment before they are put away for the season. Clean and sharpen lawn mower blades, drain the fuel from the mower as well as any other gas-powered tool.
- Prepare Driveway and Deck (for Fall) – The summer heat and humidity can cause extensive weather damage to your driveway and deck. If your driveway has been damaged, repair it before the fall weather can exacerbate the situation. Commercial driveway filler can help with minor cracks while a sealer can help strengthen it for the fall and winter elements. You will also want to inspect your deck for cracks and other signs of damage. If you didn’t apply a sealer for the summer, you might consider applying a coat for the fall.
Most of these tips can be completed over a weekend, with a quick trip to the hardware store if needed. Next week we will continue our fall maintenance tips for inside the home, just in time for Labor Day Weekend. While you are preparing for the fall, you’ll also want to schedule a tune-up for your furnace within the next couple of weeks. Call Interstate today at 405-794-8900 to get a jump on your furnace and HVAC maintenance for fall.
For information or assistance with HVAC efficiency, give Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 405-794-8900. For more info on maintaining a safe and energy-efficient home, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Don’t forget to schedule your air conditioning tune-up for summer! Schedule service online or give us a call!