Autumn in the Midwest is truly a beautiful time of year. The air turns crisp, causing the leaves to explode with vibrant color. But nature is as powerful and destructive as it is gorgeous. If you’re a homeowner, there’s a lot of preparations that need to be made to protect your home from the change in seasons. As we move into August, summer will begin to wane, and fall is just around the corner. Changes in temperature, weather patterns, and ice can batter your home, so remember to make the following preparations in the fall.
Flush Your Hot Water Heater
Though it may not be exciting, you’ll want to flush your hot water heater. Doing so will help extend its useful life by removing any accumulated sediment. Nothing is worse than waking up on a cold morning, only to find that you don’t have any hot water.
Winterize Air Conditioning
Make sure to take care of your air conditioning systems in the fall, or live to regret in the warmer months. Homes without central air need to remove window units and stow them away. However, homes with central air need to cover the unit outside for protection from snow and ice. The easiest way to protect it is to use bungee cords and sheets of plastic or a tarp.
Prepare Your Heating System
Crisp fall air is invigorating, but it also means that you’ll need to fire up your heating system. Check for any gaps and drafts near windows and doors where heat can escape. Not only will this help save energy, but it will also decrease your heating bill. Furthermore, make sure that your furniture isn’t blocking heating vents. Lastly, make sure your furnace is inspected once every two years (at the very least). The last thing any homeowner wants is for an unknown furnace problem to cause smoke and fire damage.
Get Your Roof Inspected
If you don’t know how to, you’ll want to have a professional inspect your roof. During the fall months, you don’t always know whether a coming storm will produce rain, freezing rain, snow, or ice. Furthermore, water can freeze overnight, and ice/snow can melt during the day. All of these rapid changes in temperature mean that your roof is going to take a beating. Failing to prepare your roof for seasonal storms risks roof leaks, and the outbreak of larger problems like mold.
Trim Trees Near Your House
Though massive ice storms aren’t a regular occurrence, fate favors the prepared. You want to make especially sure that any trees near your home are well-trimmed to protect your home. Winter ice storms can overburden weak branches, causing them to smash into your rooftop, siding, and windows. Some people even take extra precautions by bracing structural branches with rope, bungee cords, etc.
The best time to perform this maintenance is in the late summer and early fall. If you wait until winter, it’s too late because hazardous conditions like snow and ice create safety risks.