Whether you’re enjoying the color show of changing leaves, or appreciating a welcome change in temperature, one thing’s for sure: Fall is a beautiful time of year in the Silver State. It’s also the time of year when home maintenance moves to the top of the to-do list for reasons of safety and energy efficiency.
Because rookie homeowners may not know about these new responsibilities, and seasoned homeowners can always use a refresher course, we’ve compiled a list of a few well-advised fall chores that apply to all parts of the state. In our next blog (coming soon to a computer near you), we’ll cover more cold weather home maintenance tips for our northern Nevada friends.
1. Change out batteries.
It is standard operating procedure to replace the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors each fall and spring. Consider daylight savings time your friendly reminder. (If you don’t already have these items in your home, make installation job #1.)
2. Check your fire extinguishers and fireplaces.
Everyone should have fire extinguishers in their homes, especially in the kitchen and near fireplaces. ‘Tis the season to make sure your extinguishers are properly charged and ready to be employed in an emergency.
For those with fireplaces, fall is a good time to get your chimney swept. The Chimney Safety Institute Of America recommends annual inspections to ensure yours has a working flue and the proper clearances, and is free from deposits.
Check out the helpful tips from the Red Cross on smoke alarms, home fire sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide alarms for more information.
3. Trim those tree limbs.
Wind, snow and ice can turn tree limbs into house slayers. Before winter weather approaches, make sure tree limbs that are close to or touching your home are trimmed back. Bushes, too! This will decrease the chance of fire spreading to your home, and damage to your home in severe weather.
4. Give your HVAC system some TLC.
Regardless of which part of the state you live in, Nevadans are rather dependent on their heating and air conditioning systems. Make sure your equipment gets the love it deserves every fall by changing out your furnace filter, and having your HVAC system inspected and cleaned for max efficiency.
Got a humidifier system? Be sure to change out its filter, too.
5. Reverse your fan for fall.
Believe it or not, many ceiling fans spin forward and backwards, and it’s not just a fun party trick. Rather, it’s a way to help cool or heat your house depending on the direction. The experts at greenlivingideas.com say to spin your fan clockwise (or in reverse) during the cooler months, which forces the warm air down and minimizes the wind chill effect. Come spring when the temps start to rise, your ceiling fans should spin counterclockwise (or forward) for added cooling. Conveniently, this follows the ‘spring forward, fall back’ mantra of daylight savings time changes.
Weatherization Assistance In Nevada
We have one last tidbit before we let you go: Nevada is home to the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which dedicates its federal and state funded resources to helping low income families improve the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety. Just a few of the services available are:
- Carbon monoxide detector installation
- Ceiling, floor and duct insulation
- Heating and cooling system repairs/replacements
- Indoor air quality testing
(For a full list of services, please click the link above.)
The Season For Responsible Homeownership
With safety and energy efficiency in mind, we encourage all Nevadans to rise to the challenge of responsible homeownership, and make these chores a top priority this fall, and every fall thereafter.
Stay tuned northern Nevadans for our next blog, which will cover cold weather winterization tips for your home.