Fall is finally in the air across most of the United States. As summer winds down and fall makes its way to Arizona, locals can expect a relief from the heat that left them in desperate need of AC this season. Now is the time to start thinking about preparing your home for the cooler weather that is to come. Here is a list of three important things that you should do to improve the safety and comfort of your home as the seasons change. So, before winter sets in, homeowners should take the time to prepare for it. You can use the fall season to prepare for winter, so when the latter comes, you will be prepared and snug in your cozy house.
Get Your HVAC serviced!
In the fall, hire an HVAC expert for the heating system’s annual maintenance and inspection. During the inspection, they will check the electrical connections and voltage, condensate drain, exhaust outlets, fuel lines, burners, heat exchangers and other components. As your AC has been faithfully chugging along all summer, now is the time to give it a rest before you tuck it away for the winter. If you’re done using the AC for the year, cover the outdoor unit to keep debris and ice from damaging your system. Then move indoors and change the filter, too. Just like the air filter in your car, your HVAC filter keeps the internal components running smoothly and efficiently. It is often located at the return air grill in a central room in the house. The filter may also be in the unit itself inside the blower or on the bottom, top, or side of the unit. You should also make sure all indoor vents are uncovered, and maybe clean your own air ducts while you’re at it.
Take Care of the Outside Too!
Clogged gutters will channel water down the side of your home where it eventually damages the foundation and can flood your basement. Get a ladder and manually pull debris out of the gutters. If you have a one-story house, you can use a leaf-blower attachment to blast the stuff. Still too much work? Hire a gutter cleaning company – they’re worth it. Also, outdoor hoses and pipes will burst if they’re full of water when the temperatures plunge below freezing. While replacing a garden hose isn’t that difficult, it’s incredibly expensive to dig up your lawn’s sprinkler system to deal with burst pipes. So, disconnect your outdoor hoses and turn off the outdoor water supply. Open outdoor faucets and run your sprinkler system to drain any remaining water.
Switch Your Thermostat from Cool to Heat!
During the cooling season, when you need AC, set this switch to the “cool” position. This tells the thermostat what to turn on as temperature rises above the thermostat’s setting or turn off when room temperature falls below the thermostat’s set temperature. It’s a good idea not to turn your AC system on in cooling mode when it has been cold outside in the last 24 hours. Unless your system is a heat pump designed to switch back and forth in all seasons, or unless a special heater has been installed on your AC compressor, suddenly turning the AC system (and the compressor component of it) on when it has been cold can damage the compressor. Then, during the heating season, when you will need warmth, set this switch to the “heat” position. It will have the opposite effect; turning the heating system on when the temperatures fall and off when they rise.
As with most home maintenance tasks, preparing your home for fall isn’t tricky, just time-consuming. Putting it off causes problems that can wind up costing you an enormous amount of money, though, so set aside time on the next couple of weekends to get these jobs done. Because while winter can wreak havoc into an unsuspecting homeowner’s property, the bottom line is that the amount of damage your home would incur during the winter would be minimal if you routinely maintain your home. Also, most inspectors and service providers are usually backlogged during the season, as there would be many customers who would want their homes serviced. So don’t wait until the last minute and get your home ready during fall!