Fall Maintenance Tips

Follow these good maintenance practices and inspect your new home on a regular basis to avoid problems.

Inside

  • Air Conditioner: Turn off air conditioner at switch or breaker.
  • Air Filters: Clean or replace air filters in HRV, furnace, hoodfan (do monthly or as needed)
  • Alarms: Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working. Replace batteries in battery-powered units.
  • Attic: Check attic for displaced insulation and rake level as needed
  • Dehumidifier: If necessary, set your dehumidifier to maintain the RH below 50% in the basement.
  • Hose Bibs: Know your plumbing. Properly close the water valves for all outside hose bibs. The valves are located in the basement. Bleed the lines to prevent freezing.
  • Windows: Clean windows, screens and hardware. Ensure window sashes make contact to the weatherstrip and the latches are locked. Remove screens from windows. Allow inside air to flow across the face of windows, reducing the potential for condensation.
  • Thermostat: Switch it to ‘heat’ mode. Set the fan to ‘on’ mode for better air circulation throughout the house. Program it to a comfortable temperature. Most homeowners find that 24°C will provide comfort in all areas of the house.

Outside

  • Air Conditioner: Clean outside air conditioning unit and install winter cover.
  • Attic Vents: Ensure roof louvers, vents and soffits are not blocked. Ventilation is a critical factor in roof durability – air must be able to move through the attic. Check for damaged areas, nests, trees or vines blocking openings, etc.
  • Concrete Floors: Consider applying a good quality concrete sealer to avoid winter erosion of concrete surfaces.
  • Eavestroughs: Clean summer debris and leaves from eavestrough. Check that eavestrough and downspout joints are secure and ensure water flows away from foundation (at least one metre). Consider installing heat cables in areas that are prone to ice build up.
  • Grass: Apply lawn seed to bare patches in late August. Apply winter fertilizer. Cut grasses in swales and drainage ditches to facilitate run off.
  • Hose Bibs: Winterize outside hose connection (hose bib) before danger of frost. Close valve in the basement, then open outside valve. Go back in the basement and open small bleeder nut on the side of the valve. Leave both the outside valve and the inside bleeder nut in the “open” position all winter.
  • Meters: Ensure gas & hydro meters are not blocked by debris, vegetation, etc.
  • Plantings: Prepare your plants, shrubs, trees and gardens for winter. Cut and remove dead branches. Protect delicate items with protective shrouds.
  • Wall Vents: Ensure outdoor air vents (exhausts, intakes, dryer, HRV, furnace, hot water, hood fan) are not blocked by debris, vegetation, nests, etc.
  • Window Wells: Remove debris, leaves, garden hoses from window wells to allow for proper drainage.