The Fall home maintenance check list

The essential to-do list

Properly maintaining a home and its appliances and heating and cooling equipment will reduce energy consumption and keep them running safely and efficiently

~ Replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries and test them.

~ Thoroughly clean out the dryer venting system.

Use a long dryer vent cleaning brush to remove lint build up from inside of the dryer to the outside. Dryer lint buildup causes thousands of fires every year; a cleanout should happen at least once per year.

Prepare the central air condensing unit for the off season.

Turn off power to the unit and remove leaves and debris from inside and around the condensing unit. Do not cover the unit with a tarp or plastic, as covering the unit completely will restrict important air flow. Use a condensing unit cover made for this purpose which allows air flow while keeping out moisture.

Complete a heating system tune up:

~ Replace the furnace air filter.

~ Check venting registers for restriction and relocate any rugs, drapes or furniture that could restrict air flow.

~ Clean and replace filter(s) in the humidifier, if equipped.

Seal the exterior to prevent draft and to reduce heating costs considerably.

Use expanding foam to seal holes in a home?s exterior. Apply weather stripping and caulking to window and door frames

Thoroughly clean the refrigerator.

~ Clean condenser coils. Use a bristle brush to remove dust and dirt from black condenser coils located behind or beneath the unit. These coils are responsible for removing heat from the unit and must be clean in order to work properly.

~ Change the water filter, if the refrigerator is equipped with a water/ice dispenser.

Prepare lawn mowers and other outdoor power equipment for fall storage.

Follow the owner?s manuals for specific instructions. Add fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank. Store in a dry, covered area such as a garage or shed.

Tune up and repair snow blowers and other winter tools and equipment.

Clean out the water heater tank

Remove natural sediment build up by draining two gallons of water from the water heater. Follow the owner?s manual for instructions.

Inspect all appliances and equipment for damage and changes in performance.

Appliances, outdoor power equipment and heating and cooling equipment often show changes in performance as warning signs about larger problems. Troubleshoot and complete repairs to avoid more costly repairs later.

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