10 Autumnal Home Maintenance Musts
Before you button up for the winter, there are ten tasks you should complete or hire a professional to do if you don’t have the time, tools, or know-how. It could cost more to DIY if you do not have the tools, so we have included the average price to get these chores completed by a professional.
#1 — Chimney Sweep
An inspection of your chimney and thorough sweep typically costs $150 - $200. But you can expect to pay more if you have a severe buildup of creosote or an animal infestation. However, you can expect to pay more if you have a severe buildup of creosote or an animal infestation. However, it is advisable to do it before lighting the fireplace, wood stove, or furnace.
#2 — Weather Stripping
Replacing the weatherstrip and door sweep around windows and doors can cut down on drafts and conserve energy. The biggest culprit is the garage door. Even when your garage does not open into the house, using weatherstrip and a threshold seal will keep wind, rain, and critters out of the garage where many homeowners store household items.
Professionals charge about $15 per window, $35 per door, $50-75 for the garage door, and $110 including the threshold seal.
#3 — Clean & Store A/C Window Units
The average cost to have a professional clean your window A/C unit is $25 - $50. You could rent a high-pressure wash if you have several for about $50 per day and DIY.
Many homeowners leave these units in-place. However, you should winterize around the unit and seal the exterior with plastic.
#4 — Clean & Store Lawn Furniture & BBQ Grill
You can use a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda to clean most patio furniture. Then, rub it down with warm grapeseed, olive, or eucalyptus oil to prevent rust while stored.
Use a bio-degradable, all-purpose cleaner and a medium bristled brush to clean the grill before storing.
#5 — Winterize Lawn & Garden Watering Systems
The average fee for a professional to winterize the sprinkler system is $85. It depends on how big a system you have, but the price range is $50 - $100, and the maximum is about $250.
If you don’t have a sprinkler system, you might need to roll up the garden hose while draining the water out to store it.
#6 — Dig Out & Service Winter Tools
Fall is an excellent time to pull out the snowblower, tractor, shovels, and ice scrapers and check the serviceability. When you need to shovel the driveway to get to work is not a good time to find out the snowblower doesn’t work, or you can’t find the ice scraper for your car’s windshield.
Also, buy rock salt or whatever device you use to melt ice and snow on your steps and walkways.
#7 — Hire Arborist, Rake Leaves, & Clean Gutters
Tree limbs extending over the house can get weighted down by ice and snow and scrape your roof. Also, a large branch that breaks could do severe damage to the roof. Therefore, you should get an arborist or handyperson to assess low-hanging branches.
After raking the leaves, you should clean the leaves and debris out of the gutters. Those leaves will pile up and create a dam, which will have water flowing over the sides rather than the downspouts.
The average 2,100 square foot home has 150 – 200 linear feet of gutters, and a professional will charge $90 to $200 to clean those.
#8 — Furnace Cleaning
The average cost for furnace cleaning is $60 to $100. Some will include preventive maintenance and checks. The average cleaning with a 64-point maintenance check is about $175. However, proper maintenance could prolong the life of your furnace, which costs $2,000 or more to replace.
#9 — Duct Cleaning
Duct cleaning is not a task you have to do every year. Many homeowners do it every other year and some three to five years. However, this is an excellent method of improving indoor air quality.
The price varies depending on how many linear feet of ducts you have, while some technicians charge per vent, but the national average is $350.
#10 — Whole House Deep-Clean
In most places, throughout the winter months, you will not be able to throw open the windows and rid your home stale odors and dust. Therefore, before the cold weather sets in is a good time to do a thorough cleaning.
Some of the chores you should schedule are:
- Cleaning the oven
- Scrubbing all tile & grout
- Degrease the range & hood
- Wash the walls & spot paint
- Defrost the refrigerator and freezer
- Dust & clean ceiling fans
- Organize closets & donate items no longer used
- Launder drapes & curtains
- Clean & vacuum exhaust fans
- Vacuum & steam or deep-clean carpets
How many of these chores you can get done will depend on your schedule and budget. You might need to hire a handyperson for assistance and rent some equipment such as a steam carpet cleaner.
Get Ready for Winter and Rest Easy
When you or a professional knock out these ten tasks before the cold weather and accompanying ice and snow hit your home, you will use less energy. Additionally, you can rest easier knowing you have probably prevented many of the costly repairs a long, hard winter can impose on your home.