STATEPOINT — Keeping your home in shape may not top your daily to-do list, but completing certain small seasonal tasks can save you money, time and the need to complete larger, more expensive projects in the future.
“Investing a small amount for preventative fall home maintenance can save thousands in the long run,” Leah Ingram, personal finance expert, says.
Don’t know where to start? The following checklist from HomeAdvisor can help homeowners prepare their homes for the cooler months:
• Clean gutters: During the year, debris such as leaves and twigs can pile in your gutter. Cleaning them once a year prevents problems such as water damage, roof damage and flooding.
•Service your furnace: A well-maintained furnace can help save on heating costs and prevent the need for repairs. Before temperatures drop, schedule your furnace to be serviced.
• Install weather stripping: As fuel and electricity costs continue to rise, keeping your home warm without wasting money and energy is important. Weather stripping your doors and windows can make a big impact.
• Winterize sprinklers: Removing all the water that’s in the lines, pipes, fittings, valves, sprinklers and pumps will prevent your equipment from freezing, expanding and potentially breaking. Hire a professional to attach an air compressor to the system to blow out the water from the lines, pipes and other parts. The service is inexpensive and a professional will know the proper amount of volume and pressure to use to ensure no water is left in the system.
• Clean your chimney: Chimney maintenance is not optional. Deadly fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and expensive chimney repairs are serious consequences associated with neglected chimney maintenance. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends all fireplaces, chimneys, flues and venting systems be inspected at least once a year by a pro.
• Flush your water heater: Generally speaking, water heaters are fairly reliable, so they usually aren’t top of mind. But flushing your water heater periodically can prevent leaks and promote efficiency.
“Hiring a professional for fall maintenance tasks like these is a great idea,” Ingram says. “Use a resource such as Cost Guide to research the average price of a project in your zip code before hiring a pro.”
To use Cost Guide and find a professional, visit www.HomeAdvisor.com.