The Home Checklist to Complete when Your Clocks Fall Back

It's that time! When the air turns golden, it's time to turn back those clocks - and complete this winter prep checklist for your home.

Check into Fall habits.

When the leaves start turning from golden to brown, the Jack-o-Lanterns are lit, and the snow begins to fall, it’s also time to change our clocks and end Daylight Savings Time and Fall back.

Time changes – which occur in both Spring and Fall – make great indicators that it’s time to complete home maintenance tasks for winter prep. Taking care to do these things will help keep your home and its mechanical systems in peak operating condition. And that saves you time, energy, money, and worry.

Here is our complete checklist of all the things that you’ll want to accomplish in your home this Fall as we change to Standard Time.

The sooner you schedule your maintenance cleaning and inspection, the better – companies like us are heading into the busy season, and we want to ensure that everything in your home is working properly to keep you and your family comfortable and safe as the snow starts to fly.

Technician repairing Gas Furnace.
  • Check your fireplace for damage and have the flue professionally cleaned and inspected.
Sealing gaps between your windows and their frames is vital to helping keep your home's exterior envelope intact and to keep out cold air, and keep in warm air in winter.
  • Inspect your windows – indoors and outdoors – to make sure there are no cracks or gaps between the frame and the house.

Fill in any openings with weather stripping or caulk, or consider replacement windows. It’s very important that your home’s exterior envelope be sealed before winter arrives. This will help keep your warm air in and cold air out. In addition, this will allow your system to work less, and achieve the energy efficiency it was meant for.

  • The same is true with exterior doors. Check to make sure there are no gaps or leaks that will allow heated air to escape.

These openings can be filled with weather stripping, foam, or sealant that can be purchased at any big box home store or hardware store. This is also a great opportunity to fix squeaky hinges or loose handles and locks.

Sealing gaps in door frames can help keep cold air out and warm air in - saving on energy and money spent on heating costs.
Having your ductwork cleaned, sanitized, and sealed is the best way to help your heating system work smarter, not harder, and save you money.

Cleaning and sealing your home’s duct system will help improve your heating system’s efficiency and let air flow more evenly through your home, increasing comfort and reducing energy costs. There is no point in having an energy-efficient furnace if your delivery system is damaged, leaking out warm air, and taking in dirty air.

  • Change your furnace filter. This also makes it easier for your system to provide clean, conditioned air to you and your family without using as much energy.
  • Make sure your home’s exterior is in good condition. Touch up siding and trim with paint, and make sure the roof has no damaged, missing, or loose shingles.
  • Clean your gutters! Make sure your gutters either have gutter guards or are otherwise free from leaves and other debris.

Gutters that are full of garbage can cause water back-ups that may cause damage to your home. When the water in clogged gutters freezes, this can form ice dams on your roof. Ice dams can not only cause water damage upon melting, but the excessive weight can pull off your gutters altogether, cause water damage, or even collapse areas of your roof.

Keeping your gutters clean of debris is key to prepping your house for winter. Clogged gutters can result in ice floe buildup, which can damage your roof and cause leaks, or pull the gutters right off.
Repair cracks in your driveway before winter sets in. Not only does this help prevent tripping, but it also keeps water from seeping below the slaps and pushing them out of place when it freezes and expands.
  • Mend cracks and gaps in your blacktop or concrete driveway or walkways.

This helps to remove tripping hazards and also prevents water from getting under the concrete and freezing, which can lift slabs or cause cracks to expand and worsen.

  • Change or clean out your dryer vent. Dirty dryer vents full of lint buildup are one of the leading causes of house fires.

It’s a good idea to have these vacuumed out or to change the vent altogether whenever you change the time. Be sure to clean the back of the dryer, the lint trap, and the point of attachment, too.

When you change your clocks, it's good to also change your driver vent or cleaning it out. Clogged dryer vents are one of the biggest causes of house fires, so keeping them clean is vital to your home safety.
  • Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure there is a smoke detector on every floor of your home, including in the basement – and test them regularly.
  • Check all of your home’s electrical – both the outlets and wiring in your home, as well as anything that plugs in. Make sure there are no frayed or broken cords or wires and replace anything that looks questionable.
Drain and store your garden hoses for winter. Also remember to turn off the water to your outdoor faucets to prevent your pipes from freezing.
  • Drain and store your exterior hoses and in-ground sprinklers. Drain your outdoor spigots and wrap them in insulation

Also, wrap any external pipes that are exposed to the elements or are in unheated garages or outbuildings.

  • Drain your water tank to remove any buildup of corrosion or mildew. Check it for leaks before you turn it back on.

Completing the items on this checklist will help ensure that you and your family are safe and comfortable this winter. Call All American Heating at 970-453-6640 to schedule your heating system maintenance today.

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