Soon, there will be a definite chill in the air. The leaves will turn vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red. Before that though, your home needs some work. Here’s how to prepare your home for the season ahead.
Retire the Lawnmower for the Season
As much as you’re looking forward to tucking away your lawn-care equipment for the winter, take a moment to do a little preventative maintenance. The main thing here is emptying the gas tanks. Gas left in the mower will cause corrosion and foul up the carburetor. Simply siphon the gas into a can, restart the mower and run it until it stops. While you’re at it, clean out the undercarriage by using a putty knife to scrape off caked-on grass. This will prevent your mower from rusting.
Clean the Gutters
Gutters have an important role to play in protecting your home: they divert water away from the house, preventing moisture damage. It’s especially important to clean them this time of year as fallen leaves can clog the gutters and downspouts. While you’re up there, check to be sure the gutters are properly secured.
Your heating system faces the Herculean challenge of keeping your home warm all winter. You can help take some of the load off by ensuring warm air stays inside where it belongs. Examine windows and doors for drafts by holding up a lighted candle to them. If the candle flickers, you’ve found a draft. Simply seal around the edge with caulk or weatherstripping.
Schedule an HVAC Tune-Up
An experienced HVAC technician will ensure your heating system is ready for winter by giving all the components a thorough inspection. This includes the air handler, condensing unit, fans, blowers and motors, belts and all the heating elements. This is important because you don’t want your HVAC system breaking down in the middle of a frigid New York winter.
Protect Your Plumbing
Be sure to remove gardens hoses from faucets because ice can back up into the pipes, causing them to crack. While you’re at it, turn off all outdoor faucets at their shutoff valves to drain any water out of the pipe. Also, prevent pipes from bursting by installing a heat cable. A heat cable plugs into a standard out and runs along the length of exposed pipes. It has a built-in thermostat. When it senses a drop in temperature, the cable warms up the pipes to prevent freezing.
Bottom line: Most of these are easy DIY jobs you can handle over the weekend. Others, such as that all-important HVAC tune-up, will require a pro. To ensure your heating and plumbing systems will get you through the winter, contact us at (845) 253-4053.