Cool nights, changing leaves, pumpkins for days. Fall is here and quickly moving towards winter. This time of year is especially important for the maintenance of your home. There are plenty of items on the interior and exterior of your home that need to be addressed in order to prevent an emergency in the dead of winter. Here are some recommendations we have to get you started:
Trim the dead branches off trees
Trees are entering the dormant season, and that is the perfect time for dead parts of the tree to be discarded. That way, your tree will be able to have new growth in the springtime. When the leaves have fallen, it should become more clear what branches may also be touching the exterior of your home and potentially causing damage. Anytime a tree branch is physically touching your home, it needs to be pruned back.
Raking leaves is crucial to having your grass grow back healthy in the springtime. If they sit under snow for months, your grass may grow back patchy or not at all because the leaves have deprived your lawn of sunlight. Getting this done before the first snowfall is our recommendation.
Clean your gutters
If your gutters are clogged, melting snow or ice have nowhere to go and will eventually cause an ice dam in your gutters. Ice dams cause structural damage to your gutters and home and can potentially lead to a leak in the roof. Make sure that your gutters lead to a downslope away from the home. If they don’t, that water can sit right at the base of the home and cause major foundation issues. Don’t be the homeowner that is saying, “Damn it, ice dam!” this winter.
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Reverse your Fans
Your fans should be moving in a counterclockwise direction in the summer in order to push cooler air down to the floor. In the winter, your fans should be moving in a clockwise direction to push that cooler air up. A gentle updraft pushes warm air back down along the walls towards the floor. Changing your fan direction can save up to 15% on winter heating costs.
Detach your Sump Pump Hose
In the winter, it is likely that your sump pump hose leading water away from the home will freeze. If your sump pump attempts to run water out of the hose but there is a blockage, the pump will run nonstop until it burns out.
Turn off Outside Spigots
Turning off and draining your exterior water spigots helps in two ways: it relieves the pressure inside the pipes and alleviates the potential problem of the pipes freezing. Constant expansion on your water pipes leads to a huge, and pricey, plumbing issue when they burst. If you have a hose that is connected to an outside spigot, now is a great time to remove it.
Cover your AC Unit with Plywood
Covering your AC Unit in the winter is not necessary. AC units are built to withstand very harsh winters with snow and ice. However, if you’d like to give some protection to your AC unit, we recommend putting a piece of plywood directly on the top so snow and ice isn’t sitting on the appliance.
We do NOT recommend putting a cover on your AC unit. In doing so, you are providing the perfect AirBnb for rodents to nest over winter. Those same rodents will bend your AC coils, chew through the coils, and/or build a nest that can catch fire when you turn the AC unit on for the first time next spring.
If you are in need of some home maintenance this fall and don’t know where to start, Kura Home offers free in-home estimates! Feel free to call 888-858-5872 to get one scheduled today.