Every autumn, homeowners should do a practical inspection of their plumbing and HVAC systems so that they are functioning optimally during the cold winter months.
Here is a list of things to inspect that should be on every homeowner’s checklist for the fall.
1. Clean out your eavestroughs of dead leaves, to make sure that there is ample space for water to drain, as flooding in your troughs can trickle down into your foundation and cause main floor flooding.
2. Empty and coil up all garden hoses and make sure that all outside faucets are shut off. Dripping outdoor faucets can also freeze, burst and leak water against the side of your house, which can damage your home’s foundation.
3. Make sure that all leaves in yard and gutter are bagged, to prevent gutters from overflowing during strong rains and flooding. Damp leaves can easily block drains and cause pesky leaks.
4. Check the main-shut off valve for water and make sure it works. This is important in case you have an urgent need to shut off the water because of a bursting frozen pipe or a leaking appliance.
5. Examine all of your water pipes for cracked joints, dripping seams, and call in a professional to fix them if you detect any. Leaky water pipes can lead to floods and heat loss, especially if your home is heated by water.
6. Inspect every drain and catch basin in your home to make sure it is not clogged. Hire a plumber with a drain-opening snake to unclog these drains if need be.
7. Check the connections on all of your fixtures and make sure they are not leaking. This helps you save on water bills and prevents a loss of energy and potential flooding. Call a plumber to replace any worn or loose faucets or showerheads.
8. Examine the hoses on all your appliances including the dishwasher and washer to make sure they are not worn out and about to spring a leak.
9. Empty the full drain pans in your HVAC or air conditioning unit to prevent flooding, and change the filter for the new season.
10. Dust the blades of the fans on your air conditioning unit or HVAC unit. This will make sure that when you turn the heating on in your HVAC unit that you will not be greeted with the smell of burning dust.
11. Call a professional to inspect your HVAC ducts for proper seal and that there are no leaks. HVAC ducts that are not properly sealed can lead to inefficiency and dirty ducts that result in allergens in the air, floods, and small fires in the unit.
12. If you suspect that your HVAC temperature control is not working, call in a professional to have it calibrated, so you are not accidentally turning up the heat when you really do not need to and spending extra money.
Remember it is easier to have any part of your HVAC or plumbing that is broken fixed during the fall months, when the weather is warmer, so it is best to do this simple inspection now.
If you do find anything amiss, call a professional to help you fix the situation so that you are not worried about the fundamental operation of your home during the winter.