Cooler temperatures and frost warnings serve as a reminder that the winter season is fast approaching in Ottawa. As the seasons change, so does our seasonal home maintenance needs. In order to keep your home running smoothly, a bit of attention will save costly repairs and aggravation later. To Do Done Handyman Services has created this Top 10 list for Seasonal Home Maintenance this fall:
Interior Home Maintenance
- Have your furnace inspected. Hire an HVAC professional to test for leaks, check heating efficiency, and change the filter. It’s also a good idea to stock up on extra air filters and change them every few months.
- Programmable thermostat. If you don’t already have one, buy a programmable thermostat and have it installed. If you already have one, check the temperature settings. Setting your thermostat to lower the temperature automatically at night and when you’re not home can result in substantial cost savings over the winter.
- Check for drafts. Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. A good tip is to use a lit candle close to edges and if the flame flickers, there’s most likely a draft entering your home. In that case, you’ll want to replace weather stripping or seals and repair caulking around window and door frames. Consider buying heavier or insulated drapery or install plastic window coverings over especially drafty windows or skylights.
- Test home safety devices. Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices and test.
- Winterize air conditioning. If your home has central air conditioning, it may be necessary to cover your outdoor unit for winter. If you use window air conditioning units, remove or cover and seal them to prevent air leaks. While you’re at it, clean your humidifiers by replacing old filters and cleaning the inside compartment.
Exterior Home Maintenance
- Clean your gutters. Hire a service to clear your eaves troughs thoroughly. Remove leaves, nests, and debris from gutters and check for leaks at the joints or stress points. Ensure downspouts and drainage are clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways. Add extensions to downspouts if necessary.
- Check your roof. Do at least a visual inspection of the roof from the ground. Grab some binoculars to get a closer look or if you’re able and can do so safely, climb on up for a better view. Look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles. If your roof is flat, you may need to remove leaves and debris and ensure drainage is working well.
- Inspect siding. Have a professional check your home exterior for cracks or holes and repair them to avoid drafts and critters from entering your home. While you’re at it, also inspect soffits, as those are prime areas where critters enter into attics.
If you burn wood in the winter…
- Check the chimney and fireplace. If you have a wood fireplace and use it often, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional chimney sweep.
- Stock up on firewood. Order enough firewood for the season and make sure it’s dry and properly stacked to encourage air flow. It’s best to cover firewood in a wood shed or at least under roofing outside of the home.
As you’re enjoying the last bits of colour on the trees, make sure that your home is prepared for the coming winter season. Preventative maintenance now will save money on expensive emergency repairs and wasted energy costs. Properly maintaining your home also enhances its value and appeal and is less effort than managing a crisis later. When the Ottawa winter arrives, and let’s face it, there’s no avoiding it, your home will be ready.