As we approach cooler temperatures and diverse weather conditions, proper fall maintenance will help to ensure the value of your home as well as the safety of your family. Save yourself some time and money, while also keeping your home in pristine shape, with these routine tips.
Tip 1: Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. To prevent the dangers, such as a house fire or carbon monoxide poisoning, associated with faulty equipment, you will need to test your alarms and change the batteries for both detectors regularly. To test your devices, find and press the test button until you hear beeping. If there’s no beep, chances are you need to replace the batteries, which is recommended to do so every six months, or the entire alarm.
Tip 2: Test GFCI receptacles and arc fault breakers. On average, the circuitry inside a GFCI begins to wear out after 10 years and might need to be replaced. The reset button alone isn’t fully reliable, so you will need to use a special circuit tester, which can be found at most hardware stores. Similar to the GFCI receptacles, arc fault breakers have a test button, however, they aren’t always reliable. AFCI testers are available at home stores for quick testing, too.
Tip 3: Inspect furnaces for proper operation. Save on your energy bills, extend the life of your furnace, and avoid extensive damage by checking gas lines for cracks and ensuring the flame and oxygen flow are acceptable. Also, it’s important to change your filters monthly to achieve maximum efficiency and to prevent leaving your family in the cold.
Tip 4: Remove garden hoses and drain outdoor faucets. Winterizing your pipes is one of the easiest, most beneficial ways to protect your home before winter. To avoid a big freeze and the damage that comes along with it, detach all of your outdoor hoses, drain them and store them for the winter. Next, you will want to drain any water that may be lingering in the faucets. If possible, turn off water to all outside faucets, too.
Tip 5: Rake and compost leaves. Leaves change color and then fall to the ground, littering your yard with minimal aesthetic appeal. Instead of just raking them up and ditching them on the curb, transform your garden next spring with nutrient-rich and mineral-based compost—for free! Learn how to rake, shred and compost here.
Tip 6: Treat and feed Bermuda sod with an overseed of rye grass. If you’re looking to maintain a yard of healthy, green grass year-round, over-seeding Bermuda sod this fall may be your ticket to a luscious lawn. The process starts one month prior to the first frost with regular mowing at various lengths, and fertilizing for sod stimulation.
These are just a few friendly reminders to ensure you’re safe for the cooler season ahead.