Fall Home Maintenance
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
As the cool, and hopefully soon, cold fronts move in on the Houston area, take advantage of the weather and the last couple of weeks before Daylight Savings ends to perform some basic fall home maintenance.
Inspect the weather stripping on all exterior doors to ensure it will properly keep the warm air in and the cool air out. One method to test the weather stripping on the bottom of the door is to lay a dollar bill between the door jamb and the bottom of the door and close the door. If you can easily slide the bill back and forth, you may need a new weather stripping. Another method that works for both the bottom and sides of the door is to inspect for visible lighting through the door jamb. To do this at night, leave interior lights on, turn exterior lights off, and go outside. If you can see light around the door jamb at the bottom, the weather stripping should be replaced or adjusted. If light is visible on the sides, you may be able to adjust the door within the jamb or add, adjust, or replace weather stripping.
Inspect attic insulation to confirm adequate coverage with no voids. Fill any voids to ensure even blanket coverage, refresh or fluff any insulation that is squashed or compacted. Make sure insulation is not covering soffit vents which are designed for unobstructed air flow.
Clean return air vents to remove dust build up. First, shut off power to the heating and a/c system. Next, unscrew and remove the return air vent cover from the wall. Using a brush or damp cloth and cleaner, clean the vent cover. Using a hose connection, vacuum the opening and what you can reach inside the duct.
Replace the furnace filter and test your heater now rather than waiting until you need it. This will give you time to schedule any repairs or maintenance that may be needed rather than having to call it in for emergency repairs when the temps really drop. The first time you turn the heater on after a long summer season of cooling, you may smell a burning odor, or possible light smoke. This is common but should dissipate within 5 to 10 minutes. If odor or smoke persist, have the heating system serviced by a licensed, experienced HVAC contractor.
Clean gutters and downspouts to make sure no blockage is present. After removing leaves and debris, flush out the gutters with a hose to be certain water flows freely. Water should be discharged from the downspout a minimum of 4 feet from the house. This is a great time to install downspout extenders, if needed. Inspect the brackets securing the gutters and downspouts to ensure they are properly tightened and providing adequate support.
If your fall plans include any exterior modifications to your property, don’t forget to get approval first. The process is easier than ever! Just click HERE and you’ll find the login page; as well as some Exterior Modification Request FAQs.