In Charlotte, autumn means more than changing leaves and lower temperatures for homeowners — it also means time to check off a variety of home maintenance tasks before winter arrives. Whether you live amongst the tree-lined streets of Dilworth or in a golf community in Southeast Charlotte, the fact is, with winter just around the corner, every good homeowner knows that now is the perfect time to knock out a few important projects, before the temperatures drop enough to make it tougher.
What should you include in your fall home maintenance checklist here in the Queen City? Here is a look:
- Clean the Gutters: The end of fall is the perfect time to clean leaf buildup and other debris out of your gutters, before winter has had a chance to freeze them. Even though Charlotte has fairly mild winters, there is always a chance that the colder months will bring heavy snow or ice, which can potentially pull loose gutters off the house, Take the time now to check all fastenings and make sure your gutters are secure.
- Get a Furnace Inspection: Your heating system is likely to see a lot of use during winter, when daily temperatures average in the 40 degree Fahrenheit range, so make the investment now to keep it running smoothly. “For about $80 to $100, a technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to make sure the system is clean and in good repair,” notes Kiplinger Magazine. Plus, “if you act soon, you’ll minimize the chance of being 200th in line for repairs on the coldest day of the year.”
- Minimize Air Leaks: When you’ve got the heat cranked high this winter, you don’t want to let warm air leak outside, raising the costs to keep your home warm and wasting energy. That is why today is a good time to check for air leaks and use caulk to seal cracks or weatherstripping to seal windows.
- Get a Chimney Inspection: Planning to use your fireplace or wood stove this winter? Schedule your annual chimney and flue inspection. Whether you want an occasional cozy night by the fire or plan to use your fireplace for emergency heating, an inspection will make sure you’re ready. Likewise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends, “if you’ll be using a fireplace, wood stove or kerosene heater, install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated.”
- Seal and Insulate Ducts: Typically located in a home’s attic or basement, air ducts can account for about a 20 percent loss of heating when they aren’t properly sealed and insulated, says Energy.gov. However, “tightly sealed and insulated ducts can potentially reduce your annual energy bills by $120 or more!” That is why taking the time now to get your ducts checked, sealed and insulated is well worth the effort, both for the better heating and cost savings down the road.
- Prep Your Outdoor Spaces: Whether you have a deck, a patio or an outdoor grill, the end of fall is typically a good time to start wrapping furniture, putting away gear and prepping your outdoor spaces for winter. Likewise, shut off your exterior faucets, drain pipes and sprinklers, and remove leaves from your deck to help prevent mildew and mold from forming.
As one season ends, another begins — so get ready for another Charlotte winter by taking preventative steps to prepare your home now, while the weather’s still warm enough to enjoy being outside. Use the ideas above as a home project checklist so that your property will be warm and well-prepared for the colder months.
Article Provided By Sajjan Dhaliwal, the founder of Jas-Am Group. They are a custom luxury homebuilder and remodeler in Charlotte, NC that has been servicing the area and surrounding neighborhoods since 1985.