The fall is the best time to get your house in shape before heading into the winter season. Small problems that are left unfixed can turn into larger and more expensive repairs in the long run. Consumer Reports shares the following tips for maintenance work you can do now and ACE Hardware-Alameda Station in Denver shares supplies you can buy to avoid a larger hassle down the road.
Check the Roof
-Leaks can eventually damage the wood sheathing and rafters below your shingles, leading to thousands of dollars in repairs. ACE Hardware recommends buying products such as "Through the Roof" or "Flex Tape," to seal cracks and avoid leaks.
Clear Gutter Clogs
-Gutters stuffed with leaves, pine needles, and other debris can let water spill over the side, pool around your home’s foundation, and seep inside. Water that freezes in gutters can force snow and ice into roof shingles, causing damage and leaks. ACE Hardware recommends buying gutter guards to catch leaves and keep them from collecting in your gutters.
Replace Furnace Filters
-A dirty filter reduces heat and airflow, which can lead to expensive repairs. ACE Hardware recommends replacing air filters at least every three months and checking connections to make sure your system is operating properly.
Clean Your Chimney
-A wood-burning fireplace or stove may be cozy, but creosote buildup can impede the flow of smoke and cause chimney fires and carbon-monoxide poisoning. Unused chimneys can also develop cracks that weaken the structure. If you want to lower chimney buildup, ACE Hardware recommends burning "The Creosote Sweeping Log." ACE also said calling an inspector is important to make sure your chimney gets a deep clean.
Automate Energy Savings
-Simply lowering temperatures by 10° F to 15° F while you’re at work or asleep can trim 15 percent from your heating bill. ACE Hardware recommends buying a programmable thermostat to have more control over the temperature in your home in order to help save on heating costs.
Plug the Leaks
-The swiftest savings come from sealing air leaks in your home’s walls, windows, and especially its ductwork. ACE Hardware recommends using a combination of caulk, foam board, expandable sealant, and weather stripping to plug leaks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, and other openings in your home.