Yesterday marked the first official day of fall, and in Minnesota, that means it’s time to prepare our homes for the bitter cold ahead. This is also the perfect time to perform some routine homeowner maintenance. Use this helpful list of fall home maintenance reminders as you get your household ready for the seasonal change.
HVAC Maintenance Checklist
While it may feel impossible to prepare for Minnesota’s harsh winter weather, we can still make sure our HVAC systems are ready to keep our homes warm and cozy:
- Inspect the A/C for Damage: After working hard all summer long, your A/C system deserves a break. Shut it down for the season and perform a DIY inspection or give us a call and have our HVAC experts do it for you.
- Test the Heat: Turn your heat up now to check for any issues before the first cold snap, and have an HVAC technician make any necessary repairs right away.
- Address Unusual Sounds and Odors: If you notice strange sounds or odors when you test your heating system, contact your local HVAC specialist ASAP as these indicate mechanical issues, leaks, and other problems.
- Replace or Clean the Air Filter: Maintaining a clean air filter is one of the simplest and most important things you can do for your HVAC system. Remember to change (or clean, if re-usable) your filter monthly.
- Clean Registers, Vents, and Ducts: Dust, debris, and other irritants build up on vents and registers over time and decrease your indoor air quality. Clean these now and remember to do so regularly throughout the heating season. Also, it’s recommended to schedule professional duct cleaning every three to five years.
- Schedule Preventative Maintenance Service: Regular preventative maintenance provides professional inspection, cleaning, and troubleshooting of your system to ensure it’s ready for the season.
DIY Electrical Inspection/Maintenance
Test and Inspect Outlets for Damage
Malfunctioning outlets are an inconvenience, and they also pose potential safety hazards for fire and shocks. Warning signs that it may be time for new receptacle outlets include:
- Outlets that buzz or are dead, charred, or hot to the touch
- Burning plastic or vinyl smell
- Frequently flickering or blinking lights
- Loose-fitting plugs
- Outlets that appear discolored
- Sparks when plugging something in
- Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets not resetting properly when pushing the “test” button
- Circuit breakers tripping often
While these issues may just require new outlets, they can also indicate bigger, more serious electrical problems that call for rewiring or a system upgrade. If you notice any of these warning signs, contact your local residential electrician ASAP for an inspection.
Test and Clean Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are clean and working properly – they should be tested weekly and cleaned at least monthly. And remember, smoke detectors should typically be replaced every 10 years and CO detectors every five.
Make Sure Electrical Cords are In Good Condition
Don’t take the risk when it comes to damaged electrical cords. Especially with the extra lighting and decorations used in the holiday season, make sure your cords are in safe, working condition. If you notice exposed wires or other signs of damage, replace the cord instead of trying to fix it with tape.
Fall is a beautiful time to give our air conditioners a break and enjoy cooler weather before the temps plummet. However, we also need to perform some regular household maintenance and prepare for the inevitable cold of Minnesota winters. Follow these fall home maintenance reminders as you get ready for the season change.
We’re currently offering a furnace or boiler tune-up special for just $79! Claim your promo today and have one of our expert HVAC technicians ensure your heating system is ready for winter. And for all your residential HVAC and electrical needs, trust the experts at Stafford Home Service Inc..
Contact us to learn more.