Last time we focused on Exterior home maintenance; this time we focus on the Interior.
Suggestions from your Professional Home Inspector.
Fall/Autumn is the best time for Lower Mainland homeowners to do necessary home repairs and maintenance before Winter sets in. There are many things that can be done to ensure your home will be running in peak condition throughout the Winter months:
- Now is a great time to have your heating system serviced by a licensed heating (HVAC) contractor – a large majority of service companies are not that busy yet and may offer maintenance specials. This includes cleaning and replacing filters, inspecting it fully to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and checking for efficiency. If you have your furnace/heating system serviced regularly it will be more efficient, less likely to run into problems and should last longer. Weather changes rapidly and having no heat when a “whopper” arrives can be a painful adventure.
- Check your attic for proper insulation levels and any damage by workers and/or rodents. You may have to have insulation removed and replaced to prevent a Fire.
- It is quite common for contractors and cable-installers to move (and not replace) insulation during their installation process. This can leave large holes in the thermal blanket inside your attic.
- Inspect the attic access hatch or stairway for proper insulation and weather stripping to minimize energy-loss to the attic and the introduction of damaging moisture.
- Check for air-leaks around windows and doors. These are easy to find by moving your hand or some tissue paper around the frames. Proper sealing/caulking and insulation will save you money on heating costs. Remember to also check your basement windows for drafts, loose frames or cracked panes. Repair or re-caulk, as needed.
- Change the batteries often in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. This is not to be taken lightly, as these devices are designed to save your life.
- Vacuum the condenser coils at the back of your fridge annually, at least.
- Clean or Self-clean the oven (in preparation for seasonal cooking /baking).
- Clean your coffeemaker.
- Clean your kitchen exhaust hood. Clean or replace the filter.
- Look for worn power cords. Replace them immediately; never use “permanent” extension cords.
- Check your emergency flashlight. Do the batteries work? If not, replace them or consider upgrading to a non-battery powered, manual wind-up model or rechargeable type.
- Change the direction of ceiling fans to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling.
- Clean bathroom ceiling fan grilles and ensure your dehumidifier is working.
- Pick a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet (GFCI) and test it. Push the Test button; check that this has popped out the Reset button and that anything hooked up to the outlet will no longer power on. Push Reset and you’re good to go. Test all different GFCI outlets, similarly.
- Check your water heater for signs of leakage or rust, it may be near the end of its lifespan.
- Don’t forget gas fireplaces. Have them cleaned and inspected to prepare for those cozy fires on the frosty nights to come and to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Ensure your wood stove or fireplace is in good working order, by having it carefully inspected, cleaned and repaired as necessary. This will help prevent chimney fires and avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you follow this interior Fall home maintenance checklist, you will be well on your way to keeping your home and property in top condition during the winter and more importantly keeping your family SAFE. Performing a regular home quality-control checks can prevent problems occurring in the future. Not to mention, doing all of this work now will feel like a breath of fresh air when Spring rolls around!
Duxbury& Associates – Your Caring & Experienced Home & Building Expert.