The Fall season is here! For many of us this is our favorite season of the year. The heat of summer is finally dissipating, the leaves are turning, there’s a nip in the air, and of course, there’s football, great food, and holidays aplenty.
But fall will soon be followed by the typical blustery Chicagoland winter with plunging temperatures and plenty of rain, sleet, ice, and snow. Before winter arrives in full force, now’s the time to prepare your home for the months ahead, and your friends at Deljo Heating & Cooling hope you’ll follow our suggestions for a few must-do checks and repairs and seasonal maintenance tips.
1. Clean your gutters
Clogged gutters can lead to the formation of ice dams which, in turn, can lead to serious damage to your house. Remove all the leaves, twigs, and assorted gunk for the gutters. Make sure the gutters are not sagging and trapping water. Also, it’s really a good idea to have downspouts that extend at least five feet from your house to prevent damage to your home’s foundation.
If you don’t want to climb a ladder to do this work, hire a handyman or contractor to do it for you. One way or another, make sure your gutters are in good shape before winter arrives in full fury.
2. Check the roof and plumbing vent stacks
A perfectly safe way to check the condition of your roof is to use a pair of binoculars to inspect it from the ground. Look for any warning signs like shingles that are cracked, buckled, or missing, and hire a roofer to replace them.
Your plumbing stacks will probably be flashed by a rubber collar that’s called a boot. These boots can crack or loosen over time. In fact, they’ll usually wear out before the roof does. Again, call in a roofer to replace any damaged boots.
3. Remove all garden hoses from faucets
If you leave hoses connected, the water in them could freeze and crack the faucets and the interior pipes connected to the faucets. To prevent that calamity, disconnect the hoses and drain and store them in your garage or shed.
4. Fix driveway and walkway cracks
When water gets into those cracks, it can easily freeze during the winter, potentially leading to bigger cracks and possibly crumbling concrete that must be replaced. You can head that kind of problem off by using some concrete crack sealer to fill in those small cracks before they become a big and expensive problem.
5. Close any air leaks
Buy a couple of tubes of exterior caulk at your hardware or super store and check the perimeter of your house. Seal any cracks between siding and trim, around door frames and windows, and any places where wires and pipes enter your house. By making these simple and inexpensive maintenance repairs you’ll be keeping moisture out of your house and preventing air leaks that lead to higher heating costs.
6. Check your fireplace
Who doesn’t love a crackling fire during cold winter days and nights, but your fireplace can become a serious fire hazard if not properly maintained. It might be a bit of a strain but do a backbend and use a flashlight to look up the flue to make sure it’s not clogged with branches, leaves, or bird nests. You should be able to see daylight at the top. If you can’t, there’s a problem that needs to be fixed before you light that first winter fire.
Whatever the fuel source for your fireplace – wood or gas – you should have the chimney professionally cleaned at least every other year, and if you use it heavily, a yearly professional cleaning is highly recommended. Burning wood produces a creosote buildup, and while burning gas doesn’t produce creosote, it does create a buildup that should be cleared away.
7. Replace your batteries
For safety’s sake, replace the batteries in all your smoke and CO detectors. Make sure you have at least one smoke detector on each level of your house, including the basement.
8. Schedule Your Furnace Cleaning and Inspection
The last thing you want is a heating system that dies on you or needs a serious furnace repair in the depths of a Chicagoland winter. The best way to prevent that is to have the professionals at Deljo Heating & Cooling inspect your furnace this Fall and winter. With our furnace tune-up, our experts will ensure that your furnace is in good running order, and if needed, make minor repairs before small issues become major problems.
By doing this, not only will you be saving money in the long run by ensuring your furnace , but you will also extend the life of your furnace
At Deljo we know that furnace maintenance in Chicago is more than a recommendation. It’s a necessity, and for the very best in furnace maintenance and repair, absolutely no one does it better than the pros at Deljo Heating & Cooling.
We hope these maintenance tips are helpful, and your friends at Deljo wish you a fantastic fall, a joyous holiday season, and a warm and comfortable winter.