Since Fall has officially begun in the DFW area, now is a great time to begin preparing for winter. Even though the leaves aren’t yet falling off the trees, tackling some of these small chores now will prevent you from scrambling at the last minute when the temperatures do turn colder.
Here are a few steps you will want to take to keep your home running efficiently:
Clean the chimney
If your home has a fireplace, now is a good time to have the chimney swept – before you begin using it. While you can likely clean the ash and any debris out of the firebox yourself (just don’t use a vacuum – ash can quickly clog even the best vacuum filters), chimney sweeping is best left to a professional. The will take care to clean any creosote buildup in the fireplace if needed, as well as checking the firebox, liners, smoke chamber and flue, and exterior. They should also bring to your attention any repairs you need to make to equipment or structure.
Have the furnace checked
While brand new heaters may not need an annual service, any equipment over ten years old definitely should be serviced every year – and the best time to take care of this is in early Fall – before you need to use it.
Your HVAC professional will check all of the essential components of your heating system, clean, test, lubricate as needed, inspect your vent system and air intakes.
You will also want to continue to replace your air filters – which is recommended to do either every other month or every month.
Test winter equipment
Whatever equipment you use for winter – whether that’s for your home, your automobile, or for pleasure – go ahead and begin testing those pieces of equipment now.
Nothing is worse than a cold spell to sneak up on us, and you realize that a critical piece of equipment you use is not functioning properly. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Prep your lawn
Roots are still active when the grass isn’t growing, so applying fertilizer in the Fall can actually help prevent Winter damage. Doing this will also help your lawn turn green faster in the spring, which will help it be healthier heading into our hot Texas summer.
Fix driveway cracks
Concrete driveways can crack, and you may not think it’s much of a problem. However, in winter, water can get into those cracks, and as it freezes, it expands and makes the cracks even worse. Pretty soon you’re replacing an entire driveway instead of simply fixing a crack. You can usually handle this chore pretty easily with cement crack filler – and you’ll want to do it now before a freeze hits later.
Check for drafts
Examine your windows and exterior doors and check to see if any caulk or weather stripping needs replaced. Doing so now will help prevent warm air from leaking in the winter, which will not only keep you warmer, but will also help keep your heating bills lower.
Weather stripping is an easy DIY project. To check to see if you have any that needs to be replaced, close the exterior door, and try to slip a piece of paper between the door and the frame. If the thin paper can slide in fairly easily, it’s time to replace.
Schedule your annual home maintenance inspection
Home inspections aren’t just for when you buy a new home. One of our most popular home inspection services in Dallas and Fort Worth is an annual maintenance inspection.
These inspections can provide you with the peace of mind understanding the state of all of the systems in your home, so that you can find the items that need minor maintenance now to prevent a larger problem in the future.
Schedule your annual home maintenance inspection – anywhere in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex – today.
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