Whether you are anxious for the cooler weather to arrive or you are a beach bum clinging to every last minute of summer, fall is coming whether you like it or not. This means its time to bring in the lawn furniture and bring out the winter shovels. Autumn is a beautiful time of year and its also a time for us to prepare for the cooler months. Here are some important maintenance tips for preparing your home for the changing season.
#1 – Schedule your annual furnace inspection. You may enjoy the cool air of autumn but when the brisk weather sets in you want to make sure the heat is up and running. A heating contractor can give your furnace a tune up, and often find any hazards that may be costly to repair later if they go unnoticed. Be sure to change the air filters and clean and dust the air ducts. This will make for cleaner air and a warmer energy efficient home.
#2 – Clean the Fireplace and Chimney. You may not be thinking about starting a fire in September but before long you will want to be sitting next to that toasty crackling fire. Now is the time to get your annual chimney sweep done. Most chimney sweeping contractors will also give you a complimentary inspection of your chimney in the event there are cracks or structural issues. For more information, read the Fireplace Safety information provided by FEMA.
#3 – Check on your fire safety equipment. This is a great time of year to make sure all of your fire safety equipment is in good working order. This means changing the batteries in your smoke detectors, making sure your fire extinguishers are easily accessible, and replacing any fire extinguishers that may be expired. It also a good idea to go over a home fire evacuation plan with your family. This is especially important for families living in apartment complexes, high-rise buildings, or multi unit condos or townhomes.
#4 – Clean up outside your home. The changing leaves are beautiful this time of year but they are not as beautiful once they fall from the trees and cover your yard. Its time to clean up the fallen leaves. This reduces the risk of fire hazard and limits the potential for mold growth around your home. While you’re cleaning up the leaves, be sure to take in any yard or patio furniture to prevent it from winter weather damage and strong winds. Disconnect your garden hoses to prevent freezing of your outdoor faucets. If possible, shut off the inside valve to your faucet and then drain the faucet. This is the best way to reduce the risk of frozen pipes. Don’t forget the annual cleaning of your gutters as well. Blocked gutters is one of the major causes of winter damage to your home. They can cause ice dams and cause water to drip around your foundation, driveway or walkway which then becomes slippery after it freezes.
#5 – Don’t forget the garage. Its recommended that you empty out any unused fuel from your gas-powered lawn equipment. This reduces the risk of fire and also helps to protect your equipment from sediment build up and clogged fuel lines. Bring out that snow blower and give it a test run. If you have an emergency generator, its a good time to give it a test run and refresh your memory on how to use it and its safety features.
#6 – Insure your home. It’s no secret that fall and winter can be a disastrous time of year. We have to worry about hurricanes until November, gusty windstorms throughout the season, excessive snow, ice storms, winter nor’easters, and higher risk of home fires this time of year. Protect yourself with the right Rhode Island Home Insurance. You don’t want to be left having to pay out of pocket for damages if your home insurance is lapsed or you have less than adequate coverage. Loiselle Insurance Agency is always happy to review your policy with you. If you’re unsure if your current policy is giving you the right protection, call Loiselle Insurance today for a complimentary home insurance quote.
#7 – Most importantly, grab your flannels and hot chocolate! It’s the perfect time of year to cuddle up to your loved ones inside your home with your flannel pajamas and a hot chocolate. Sit by a toasty fire. Catch up on some good books or the latest movies. Relax. Enjoy yourself. Remember that us New Englanders are lucky to experience beautiful changes in seasons. And just when you think you’ve had enough of the cold and snow, spring will be right around the corner.