Just like that, in true Michigan fashion,
summer is gone and fall has arrived!
Fall in Michigan brings with it some memorable traditions – visits to the cider mill for warm cinnamon donuts and crisp apple cider, family bonfires and hayrides, carving pumpkins, and nature’s breathtaking palette of color everywhere the eye can see.
Some traditions, although not as exciting, are just necessary as the seasons change – our fall home maintenance. We have put together a Fall Home Maintenance Checklist so you can be sure not to miss anything! As always, if you run into any problems, give us a call and we can give you a hand.
PLUMBING FALL HOME MAINTENANCE
- OUTDOOR FAUCETS: Close the shut off valves on inside faucets and leave the faucet in the on position. Cover faucets with a styrofoam or plastic cap. Drain all hoses. Drain and winterize sprinkler systems.
- WATER HEATER: Insulate with a water heater blanket. Consider replacing a unit that is older than 10 years for maximum efficiency. Newer models save energy and may be eligible for rebates. It is much more economical to buy a new heater than to repair an old one!
- PIPES: Insulate outdoor or exposed pipes with foam wrap. Remember pipes in crawl spaces, garages and under your sinks, especially if they are on an outer wall.
- WATER SHUTOFF: Take the time to locate your main water shutoff if you don’t already know where it is. If a pipe freezes and bursts, you will need to shut the water off to your house. The shut off may be by the water heater or at the meter.
- SEPTIC/SEWER SYSTEM: Have your sewer or septic system checked by a professional at least every two to three years. Inspections may find problems before you even know they are there.
HEATING AND COOLING FALL HOME MAINTENANCE
- Check your furnace by turning your heat on before it gets cold to make sure everything is working properly. Don’t wait until we have frigid temperatures and be without heat!
- The most important thing you can do is inspect and change your filters once a month in your heating system. A dirty filter makes the system less efficient and damages equipment, leading to early failure. Changing the filter every 30-90 days is recommended, but if you have pets or a lot of dust in your home, it may be necessary to change it more often.
- Consider purchasing high efficiency pleated air filters. They trap more particles, keeping your system and the air in your home cleaner and healthier.
- Keep your registers and ducts clear of dust and pet hair.
- Check your thermostat settings. Consider installing a programmable stat if you don’t currently have one. A programmable stat saves energy while you are at work, on vacation, or otherwise away and returns the temperature to your desired comfort level just before you return home.
- Turn the water supply on to the humidifier on your furnace. Change the humidifier pad and set your humidistat between 35 and 45%.
- Shut down your air conditioner for the winter. Inspect it for damage and put a cover on it if you want one. Use only a cover made for an air conditioning unit, they are designed to allow the unit to breathe.
- Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector. While you are at it, it is a good idea to change the batteries in your smoke detectors as well.
- Make an appointment today to have your furnace professionally cleaned and tuned up. It extends the life of your system and can keep small problems from turning into big problems!