Test your detectors. Check your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are clean and functioning properly- including batteries. Even if your units are hardwired, they still have a battery backup. It is recommended that smoke alarms are replaced every 10 years and carbon monoxide alarms every 7 years.

Analyze your home safety plan. In case of a fire, the National Fire Protection Agency recommends knowing two ways out of every room and practicing a pre-arranged drill twice a year.

Check your fire extinguishers. Make sure the pull pin is in place, the pressure gauge is in proper operating range, and there is no obvious physical damage. Check the tag- some fire extinguishers require annual maintenance by a professional.

Clean your dryer vents. Lint & debris buildup in dryer vents makes your dryer work less efficiently. The increase of static electricity from the onset of cool, dry weather can ignite lint that has built up and cause a fire.

Check furnace filters. Dirty filters can damage the blower motor in your furnace. Checking and changing a dirty filter will reduce the strain on your furnace and improve your home’s air quality.

Dedicated lines for portable heaters. Any appliance like this that has a spinning motor, like a portable heater, needs to receive power from an outlet dedicated for that purpose. If you need an outlet wired specifically for this, call us at (314) 773-4955.

Switch your fan blades. Reverse your fan blades to run in a clockwise direction, creating an upward draft that optimizes the heat in your home.

Evaluate your insulation. Leaks or cracks around doors and windows can compromise your home’s heating efficiency. Cracks, damage, or deterioration are indicators that you need to repair or replace caulk and weather stripping. In addition, remember to check basement & attic areas for drafts. 

Clean your gutters. Removing debris now can prevent clogging issues later, especially as temperatures cool and leaves begin to fall.

Turn off your exterior faucets. If you don’t have frost proof faucets, make sure all water is drained from the pipes. Also remember to remove your hoses and store them.

Prepare your sprinkler system for winter.  Shut off the main water supply and then turn on the sprinklers. This will flush out any water that has collected in the hoses and keep them from freezing over.

Test your exterior outlets. Make sure that your outside receptacles are GFI protected. Test & reset them to ensure that they are working property before you tackle your holiday lighting projects. If one isn’t working or isn’t conveniently located, contact us to repair or install a new GFI outlet.

Maintain your generator. Home generators require annual oil changes and a battery change every 3 years. They should also run a test cycle once a week. Verify that your generator is up-to-date on these items to avoid being left in the cold if the power goes out!

Check your bulbs. As the days get shorter, it is increasingly important for your exterior lights to work when you need them. Verify all fixtures have good bulbs & are in working order as winter approaches!

Have you found our Fall Home Maintenance List to be helpful? A copy is available for download here.

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October 21, 2016

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