By AUDREY LEONCIO | Special to the Palisadian-Post
As temperatures start to drop and clocks turn back, this signals a time to embark on a few home maintenance projects in preparation for the winter months.
Some of the simplest fall chores can not only prevent potential major problems, but can also save you money in your energy bills. Here are a few maintenance tasks to tackle at home today, and make for a great project as safer at home orders remain in place.
Trim Your Trees
Trim trees and shrubs around your house, especially those close to power lines. Not only is this a fire hazard, overgrown branches can wreak havoc on windows and roofs. This is especially important in our Santa Ana wind-prone climate.
Clear Your Gutters
Remove any debris or leaves from your gutters and down-spouts to avoid damages to the exterior of your home. A gutter clogged with sticks and debris can cause water damage or leaky roof as the rainy season comes in.
Tune Up Your Heating System
Schedule a maintenance check-up with a licensed HVAC contractor to ensure your heater is in working order when temperatures begin to drop. This is also a great time to change out your filters.
Inspect Your Chimney
Have a chimney sweep perform a full inspection to ensure your fireplace is in safe and working order in time for prime fireplace-use season.
Seal All Windows/Doors
Check around your windows and door frames to make sure everything is properly sealed. Install weather stripping or caulking around cracks and openings to prevent drafts.
Check Your Batteries
Safeguard your home by changing the batteries in all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors around your home.
Run Your Ceiling
Fan in Reverse
While most people know that ceiling fans work to help you stay cool, they can also keep you warm by distributing the heat more evenly in a room, which may also save on your heating bill. Switching the direction of your ceiling fans’ rotation to clockwise can help facilitate in heating a room as it moves the air up.
Fire Season Safety
As fire season has sadly become a reality we’ve come to anticipate, Angelenos may have another thing to prepare their homes for. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) recommends California residents take steps in hardening their home, or preparing your home to be more wildfire resistant. Home upgrades, such as using fire-ignition-resistant materials to roofs, eaves, vents, siding, windows, decks and fences, are examples of ways to make your home more fire resistant.
Many homes that burn in a wildfire are never in the path of flames, but ignite from flying embers that catch and accumulate in eaves or drift into vents. Hardening homes against fire can be as inexpensive as installing screens over vents and as costly as installing new windows, roofing or siding.
Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution when performing routine maintenance tasks on your home to avoid larger issues before it’s too late. A quick pro tip, schedule these maintenance tasks on a specific date each year and set an annual auto reminder in your calendar so you can keep ahead of these year after year.
Audrey Leoncio is a sales partner with Amalfi Estates, which has sold $1.4 billion in properties and was selected by the WSJ as one of the top 60 agents in the country out of one million agents. If you are thinking of buying a home or selling your own, Contact Audrey Leoncio at 949-413-3477or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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