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Fall Cleaning Checklist

Posted by emmapelton@kw.com on October 6, 2021
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As we approach colder, wetter weather, it’s important to prepare your home in a few key ways. This list isn’t just for home owners who may want to sell come spring, it’s for all of us! The best way to maintain your home’s value is to stay on top of the small things & give your home some TLC every fall. Let this fall cleaning checklist be a reminder in the years to come!

I’m going to give you a brief run-down of the major items you should have checked off prior to the holiday season. They are:

  • Cleaning the gutters
  • Cleaning the chimney
  • Clean out your dryer vent
  • Replace HVAC filters
  • Service your heating system & other major appliances
  • Wash exterior windows

Cleaning the Gutters

As annoying as this chore is, it’s really important! Gutters take the rain/ melted snow that runs off the roof and deposits it away from your home’s foundation. If the gutters get clogged with leaves, branches, & other debris, it can cause that water to sit there. That means that if we have a cold snap, that water will freeze and can cause ice damming . Ice damming is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of the roof when water can’t flow properly. This can cause water to leak in and get inside ceiling, walls & insulation.

To prevent this from happening to you, take an afternoon to clear out those gutters. BE CAREFUL! If you don’t trust yourself, hire a professional or a neighbor to assist.

Cleaning the Chimney

Most, but not all people, have a standard brick chimney. If you’re one of those people, listen up! You should have your chimney swept at least once every year. If you’re a frequent user of your wood stove or fireplace, have it serviced each year in the fall, before your first fire.

If you have no fireplace, but have a chimney for your heating system, it’s a good idea to have it checked every few years. There’s no ash build up, however, it’s good to make sure it’s pointed correctly & there is no leakage or water damage.

Clean the Dryer Vent

Although laundry isn’t typically something that changes with the seasons, it might as well be serviced along with the rest of your appliances! Dryer vents should be cleaned out yearly in order to prevent a build up of lint which can cause a fire.

Replace HVAC Filters

Once you kick that heat on, you want to make sure that you’re breathing good air! Dog hair, dust, dirt & other debris can get into those filters, causing the air you breathe to be less than ideal. Replace these filters before you turn your heat on to breathe in clean, fresh air.

You can find these filters at your local hardware store & is an easy, quick DIY project!

Service Heating System & Major Appliances

On top of changing your filters out, make sure your heating system & vents are clean & working properly. You don’t want to turn your heat on only to find out the system isn’t working well or not clean! Contact an HVAC professional to have your vents cleaned and your unit checked!

Typically, your HVAC should be cleaned every 3-5 years and costs around $500-$800 depending on the size of your house & use of your system.

Your HVAC and heating system should be serviced annually to ensure that the system is working properly & there are no leaks, electrical issues or thermostat regulation.

Wash Windows

Even though this isn’t a safety or health concern, it’s always a good idea to wash your windows every so often to keep them looking fresh & clean!

The safest way to do this is to mix one part water & one part vinegar and scrub your windows with a microfiber cloth. For hard to reach windows, power washing is a great option! This can be done before you shut your hose water off in the fall.

Fall Cleaning Made Simple

The best way I’ve found to get all of these done is to put it in my calendar! If I don’t, it doesn’t happen. Make time on a weekend or weekday afternoon to get some of these done. It’s important to keep up with these tasks, especially if it’s not in the budget to replace entire systems. Keep track of what needs to get done to be prepared for the cold weather & to rest easy knowing that your home is running properly!

-Emma

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