End of Summer Home Maintenance Checklist
Follow This End of Season Maintenance Checklist
The summer season is winding down and many homeowners will begin using their air conditioning system less and less as the air turns cooler. If your air conditioner, water heater, and plumbing system have been performing well this summer, you may not be concerned about maintaining it, or checking it for repair issues, but there are a few things you’ll need to do at the end of the summer season.
Following this end of season maintenance checklist will help to ensure that your air conditioner, water heater, and plumbing system will be ready for next year.
Maintain Your Air Conditioning Unit
Ideally, you should maintain your air conditioning system twice a year: once in the spring before the peak summer season begins, and again in the fall after the summer ends. During the maintenance session, you’ll need to check the system itself, clean the coils and the vents, and inspect the ductwork for any potential leaks or clogs. If you use a window air conditioning unit, remove it from the window to clean the inside and outside before you store it for the fall. If you plan to leave it in place, buy a winter cover for the unit that will protect it from cold temperatures and airborne debris.
Check on Your Water Heater
Your water heater may not have had much use during the summer, but during the fall and winter, you’ll rely on this system quite often. Summer’s end is a good time to check it for any issues that may cause problems. One of the common issues that may affect a hot water heater during cool weather is the change in temperature that naturally occurs. The temperature changes may increase the amount of air in your groundwater, which may cause your water to look milky or cloudy. If you notice this, you may want to contact your local water utility to rule out any serious problems.
Flush your heater to get rid of any buildup that has accumulated during the summer. You should also lift up the pressure relief valve and then let it fall back into place to make sure that it is working properly. If this action doesn’t cause hot water to flow into the drainpipe, you should have your valve replaced. It is recommended to test your relief valve yearly. If the relief valve fails to reset after testing and continues to drip have it replaced.
Protect Your Plumbing Against Cold
As the first signs of cold weather set in, you’ll want to cover your exposed pipe surfaces to prevent freezing or cracking. Don’t forget about your external drains such as roof gutters and drain spouts. These surfaces often get clogged with tree leaves during the autumn, so it’s wise for homeowners to check their gutters for existing debris and clogs before the fall season begins. If these drains are not maintained regularly, a blockage may cause water to leak into the top of the home, especially if water runs up the outside of the roof.
Make sure to disconnect any garden hoses from the hose bibbs before winter. If hoses are left in place and the temperatures drop below freezing you could damage even frost proof hose bibbs and this can go undetected until spring when you start using it again.