Tag: fall

1. Call an HVAC Professional If you have a home warranty, you won’t have to worry about spending very much money on any repairs that your home might need, including repairs to your HVAC system. Your HVAC system is one of the very first things that you’ll want to have inspected before the winter season since you’ll be using it so much. Check to make sure that the ductwork is clean and that your furnace is in good working order. 2. Maintain Your Fireplace Homeowners who use their fireplace during the winter should have it cleaned by a professional. If your home warranty extends to your fireplace and covers maintenance, have your fireplace thoroughly cleaned and make sure that the damper opens and closes properly. If you have a brick chimney, make sure that mortar and brick are in good condition. It’s also a good idea to see that you have plenty of firewood chopped up and ready to be thrown into the fire so that your home will always be toasty warm. Since animals and critters will also want to keep warm during the winter, it’s also a good idea to buy a screen for the top of your fireplace in order to make sure that they won’t set up shop inside of your fireplace. 3. Check Your Roof A roof in need of repair can cost you money in heating bills. Specifically, you’ll want to make sure your roof shingles are in good condition and that you don’t have any leaks on your roof. Leaks can lead to a number of complications, including mold and a compromised home structure. Just as you can get a home warranty, you can also get a warranty for your roof to cover repairs. Make sure that the gutters are cleaned while you’re taking care of any roof repairs that you might need. 4. Get your Garden and Lawn Care Equipment Ready While you’re putting away your garden and lawn care equipment, it’s a good idea to drain the gas and oil out of your weed eater, lawn mower and tiller. Drain your garden hoses before storing them to make sure that water can’t freeze and refreeze, which can really compromise the integrity of hoses. 5. Clear the Foundation of Your Home Even during the winter season any vegetation that’s near your home can grow if conditions are right. Your home warranty probably won’t cover any damage that’s done to the foundation of your home from any roots that might find their way inside the lower structure of your home. As you’re taking care of growing plants, make sure that you check your foundation for any other signs of damage that might need to be addressed. 6. Check Your Carbon Monoxide and Fire Detectors Winter is a prime season for home fires. Install carbon monoxide and fire detectors in your home near your furnace and each level of your home if you don’t already have them. Make sure that your detectors work and that you change out the batteries during the fall. Should you have a fire in your home, remember that a home warranty isn’t the same as having a home insurance policy, which means that some of your belongings will be covered under your insurance plan that aren’t covered by your warranty. Take out time to winterize your home as you’re enjoying the changing leaves and the steadily dropping temperatures.]]>

During the winter, when many holidays fall, home fire rates sky rocket.  It is important to regularly check your smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly to protect your family during the winter.  Next, if you have a fireplace, you may want to call a chimney sweep.  Fireplaces can accumulate creosote which is highly flammable and dangerous if not cleaned out properly.  While a cozy fire is enjoyable for everyone, you will enjoy it much more with peace of mind that the fireplace is safe. When the temperatures drop, your home may start to feel a little too cold and you may be tempted to crank up the heat.  This will make you warmer but it will also result in higher heating costs. If you reverse your ceiling fans so that they turn clockwise instead of counterclockwise you will force heat back down into the room and keep you home more warm. Next, you should also clean your gutters.  If your gutters are filled with fallen leaves and debris, it can cause water to back up and damage your home.  Additionally, you should insulate pipes to avoid freezing.  Insulation can be bought at any hardware store and is simple to install.  A burst pipe can cause major damage so it is very important to protect your pipes.  It is also important to make windows and doors airtight.  If they are not, not only do they waste energy but they can make your home very cold. BHG.com discusses the problem of having windows that are not airtight, “According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 10 percent of the air that leaks out of a house exits through the windows. Caulk around window frames and apply weatherstripping between the sash and window frame to eliminate air leakage. ”  Lastly, you may consider having your furnace professionally inspected. The last thing you want on a cold winter night is your furnace to break down and leave your whole home freezing cold.  These simple steps can help you prepare your home for winter so that you can avoid home problems arising and allow you to enjoy the winter months.]]>

Your home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. Each year, as seasons change and we put away our swimsuits and pull out our sweaters, we need to do some basic maintenance to prepare our homes for cooler temperatures. By following these basic tips you can rest assured your home is in tip top shape for the fall. The first thing you will want to do to prepare your home for fall is do a quick survey of the exterior of your home and yard. Check for any obvious damage that may need to be repaired before it is too cold to do so. If you home has gutters or downspouts you will want to clear any debris such as leaves or dirt and also do a quick check of your roof to make sure everything looks good. Next, you will want to move inside to prepare for fall. Now is a great time to replace filters in your air conditioning unit as it will keep your home more energy efficient. Now is also the time to drain your water heater and check to make sure there is no rust or sediment buildup. Flush out the water heater so that it will work properly all winter long. After checking upon your water heater you will want to check your home for any leaks or cracks. During the winter you want to keep warm air in and cold air out but there are cracks your home may not be doing this. Finding and promptly fixing any leaks by applying caulk or weather stripping will help your home to be more energy efficient. The cost of heating a home during fall and winter can be expensive so it is very important to ensure your home is as energy efficient as possible. It is a time to do all the little maintenance things that so often go forgotten as well. Before entering the holiday season when home fires go up exponentially, it is a great idea to test and change batteries in your smoke detector. Speaking of fire now is the time to prepare your fireplace for the cooler months. You may consider hiring a professional chimney sweep or, at a minimum, make sure any old ashes have been discarded and start stocking up on firewood. These basic home maintenance tips can help you prepare your home for fall, improve energy efficiency and make your home a more enjoyable space to live. It is important to stay ahead of the game, with home maintenance so that you can avoid costly repairs later on. One other way to prepare your home and protect yourself and your wallet is to have a home warranty. A home warranty will give you peace of mind that you are protected at all times.]]>