As the leaves change and the days get shorter, take the time this fall to prepare for the cold weather that is coming. Ready the furnace for the months of work it will have ahead, and clean out the fireplace. Test them both to ensure they’ll be working when you need the heat. Clean out the gutter, do not wait until the leaves clog it or even worse snow piles up! With a good upkeep in the fall you can more time enjoying the winter as well as the holidays that come with them!
Inside The House
Check the Fireplace and Chimney
Most chimney sweeps recommend an annual sweeping, but depending on how often you use the fireplace, you might be able to wait on a full sweep. But if you will be using the fireplace often, call a chimney sweep for an inspection.
Hopefully you will have your older, seasoned firewood now ready for use after sitting for the spring and summer. It’s recommended to keep the firewood at least 30 feet from the house and covered. Seasoned wood is best for fires, as it burns cleaner and longer.
Review Home Fire Safety
The heating season brings new potential for fire hazards, so take a moment to review fire safety in your home. Check and replace fire extinguishers if necessary, if there is no fire extinguisher in the home buy at least one, you never know when it may come in handy! Change the batteries in the smoke detectors in the house, it is recommend to change them with even day light saving change (spring forward fall back). Also go over the home fire evacuation plan provided by State farm, with your family.
Outside The House
It’s best to inspect and clean the gutters a few times during the fall, especially if there are many leafy trees around your house. If gutters remain clogged, water will spill over them and onto the ground next to the foundation, which may cause damage to the foundation. Gutters and downspouts should be kept clean and should direct water away from the foundation, as well as from walkways and driveways, so that they do not become slippery or icy.
Although the Yellow and orange leaves look gorgeous on the trees, they do not look as appealing on our front yard so don’t forget to rake those up with your yard work! While raking the leaves; pack up and store any patio furniture for the winter. Disconnect garden hoses and, if practical, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the section of pipe just inside the house.
In The Garage
It is recommended that you empty out unused fuel from any gas-powered equipment stored in the garage, such as a lawnmower, because sediment can build up and clog the fuel lines. Store gasoline in tanks out of children’s reach or emergency generator, if need be.
Test Your Emergency Generator
It’s a good idea to have an emergency Generator if you live in an area that sees a lot of ice storms, as these are a major cause of blackouts during the winter. So if you have one, haul it out and give it a test run to see if it is in good working order. Make sure you never run the generator in any enclosed space – like your garage – as it will present a carbon monoxide hazard.