Fall is here and it's the time of year when we inspect our homes, finish off those exterior maintenance chores and ensure our homes' heating systems are in fine working order. While the timing of the seasons varies across the country, this maintenance list is a general guide for you to follow.
Fall Maintenance To Do's
Have furnace or heating system serviced by a qualified service company every two years for a gas furnace, and every year for an oil furnace.
Open furnace humidifier damper on units with central air conditioning and clean humidifier.
Lubricate circulating pump on hot water heating system.
Bleed air from hot water radiators.
Examine the forced air furnace fan belt for wear, looseness or noise; clean fan blades of any dirt buildup (after disconnecting the electricity to the motor first).
Turn ON gas furnace pilot light.
Check and clean or replace furnace air filters each month during the heating season.Ventilation system, such as heat recovery ventilator, filters should be checked every two months.
Vacuum electric baseboard heaters to remove dust.
Remove the grilles on forced air systems and vacuum inside the ducts.
If the heat recovery ventilator has been shut off for the summer, clean the filters and the core, and pour water down the condensate drain to test it.
Clean portable humidifier, if one is used.
Have well water tested for quality. It is recommended that you test for bacteria every six months.
Check sump pump and line to ensure proper operation, and to ascertain that there are no line obstructions or visible leaks.
Replace window screens with storm windows.
Remove screens from the inside of casement windows to allow air from the heating system to keep condensation off window glass.
Ensure all doors to the outside shut tightly, and check other doors for ease of use. Renew door weatherstripping if required.
If there is a door between your house and the garage, check the adjustment of the self-closing device to ensure it closes the door completely.
Ensure windows and skylights close tightly.
Cover outside of air conditioning units.
Ensure that the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall, so that water does not drain into your basement.
Clean leaves from eavestroughs and roofs, and test downspouts to ensure proper drainage from the roof.
Check chimneys for obstructions such as nests.
Drain and store outdoor hoses. Close valve to outdoor hose connection and drain the hose bib (exterior faucet), unless your house has frost proof hose bibs.
If you have a septic tank, measure the sludge and scum to determine if the tank needs to be emptied before the spring.Tanks should be pumped out at least once every three years.
Winterize landscaping, for example, store outdoor furniture, prepare gardens and, if necessary, protect young trees or bushes for winter.