Winter

  • Change your furnace filter monthly to ensure that it remains in good working order throughout the year.
  • Make sure your attic is well insulated to prevent heat from escaping through your roof.
  • With the constant use of heat to warm your home, you should be especially aware of the possibility of fire.  It is very important to test and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors regularly.
  • Heavy ice and snowstorms can clog sewer vents on your rooftop leading to foul odor, poor drainage of plumbing fixtures, and possible explosion of sewer gas.  To guard against this, you may want to install vent covers that resist freezing.  Another possible precaution is to insulate the portion of the pipes that pass through the attic with fiberglass insulation.  To detect sewer gas entry into your home, check your basement floor drains.  If you notice a fecal odor, you may need to refill them with a few quarts of water each week.  A few tablespoons of vegetable or mineral oil on top of the water in the drain will slow the evaporation process.

Spring

  • Remove debris from gutters and detach elbows to make sure they are not clogged.  Make sure downspout is attached to the drainpipe.  Over the years, the drainpipe may settle and leave space through which water can escape.  Reattach gutters or downspouts that have become loose.  Inspect your gutter system for leaks during a moderate shower to determine whether further repairs are necessary.
  • Make sure water is being drained away from the foundation of your home.  Take note of standing water around your home.  If this problem is not remedied, your foundation will begin to leak and disintegrate.  You may need to contact a qualified inspection service such as Tru-Spec to get more information on your options such as installing new drainpipes.
  • Spring is also the time to check your household for insect infestation.

Summer

  • Careful maintenance of your air conditioning unit can ensure that you remain cool and comfortable this season.  heck your filter(s) at least once a month to keep small dust partials out of the machine.  Many air conditioning systems include an outside component compressor, or heat exchanger, which encloses a large fan.  Some special precautions should be taken to ensure a long life for your compressor.  All shrubs or bushes should be kept a minimum of 30" away from this fan in order to provide proper ventilation.  Make sure that the dryer vent is not blowing into the unit.  Lint from the vent could clog the heat exchanger.  In general, it is a good idea to have all heating and cooling systems serviced annually.  Regular servicing can extend the life of the unit and lower your utility bill.

Autumn

This is an ideal time of year to prepare for winter by assessing the state of your home.

  • It is a good idea to arrange for a professional inspection of the major systems of your home in order to guard against discomfort and costly emergency repair fees.  These include your gutter, roof, chimney, and serviceman for HVAC.  Your inspector should have a list of factory recalled items.  These items may be replaced for free by the product's manufacturer.

Be sure to inspect key items yourself.

  • Inspect your roof and replace any broken or curled shingles.  Make sure the shingles are secure enough to keep rain and snow out of your roof.
  • Prolong the life of your water heater by draining a few gallons of water through it every six months.
  • Insulate pipes in your basement to prevent freezing and rupture.  If you rely on a sump pump to keep your basement clear of water, be sure to test and lubricate it according to your user's manual.
  • Finally, check for leaks in windows and door frames that can be sealed with caulk.  Filling these leaks could lower your energy bill by as much as fifteen percent.  Insulating windows with laminate kits is another good way to cut down on energy use.  The extra layer of protection over the windowpane can also cut down on condensation that occurs when the warm moist air inside your home comes in contact with cold glass.  Elimination of excess moisture will reduce mold growth and decomposition in your window frames.
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