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September Checklist: Step by Step Instructions for a Safe and Cozy Home

Gravenhurst Lake Home In The Fall Time.

September Checklist: Step by Step Instructions for a Safe and Cozy Home

If you’re a first-time homeowner, changing seasons can come with many unknowns. And knowing how to prepare your home for the fall season is one of them.

Do you know how to prepare and care for your HVAC equipment and plumbing in cold weather?

If you’re new to homeownership, you likely aren’t familiar with these maintenance responsibilities. And, chances are, you aren’t sure how or where to start.

That’s okay!

First of all, congratulations on owning your first home! That’s an incredible achievement. And if you’re new to the Gravenhurst area, we’re glad to be one of the first to extend a warm welcome.

Rural living in our Gravenhurst and Muskoka region is a sure way to embrace every season to its fullest. And while we, as locals, may be biased, we've gotta say... our fall season up north is like no other!

But as nature releases its last bursts of colour and the cold air begins to creep in, we all know what’s coming down the road - winter!

So as you step into this new season, we encourage you to enjoy it. Buy to also use it as a reminder that you need to get your home in order before the weather turns.

Keep reading for all our fall home maintenance tips!


Your Gravenhurst Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Staying ahead of the game is the key to taking care of your home during the colder months.

Canada likes to surprise us with spontaneous seasonal changes, especially at the start of winter.

That’s northern living for you!

Don’t wait for a surprise snow squall to get things in order. Below are your must-do home maintenance tasks that help make your first fall at your new home safe and cosy.

Let’s get started!


Clean Your A/C System & Shut It Down

Cleaning things before you put them away is one of the habits we form from a young age. It ensures our belongings are well cared for and in good condition when we want to use them again.

The same truth goes for your air conditioning system!

Before you shut down your A/C for the fall season, we recommend cleaning it thoroughly.

To properly clean your A/C, be sure to include the,

  • Evaporator Coils,
  • Drain Pan,
  • Drain line,
  • Access panels and
  • Outdoor condenser.

And don’t forget to put the cover on your outdoor condenser once it’s properly cleaned and shut down! This cover helps prevent leaves and other debris from clogging it up.


Clean Your Heating System & Start It Up

Before you start up your heating system, you’ll want to give it a thorough cleaning.

Whether you have a heat pump, furnace, boiler etc., keeping it clean is imperative.

If you have a central furnace, you’ll want to focus on cleaning any dust and dirt from the blower fan.

Note: If you have a gas furnace, take extra precautions in shutting off the gas valve before cleaning the unit.

A heat pump requires cleaning too! For this system, you’ll want to focus on the coils. Dirt, pet hair and other debris can get trapped inside them. You’ll also want to check for mould!

Boiler equipment maintenance includes rust checks, flushing and lubricating.

Need help cleaning your heating system? Give our maintenance team a call!


Check Your Air Ducts

If you have central heating and cooling, having your air ducts checked and cleaned is imperative.

We don’t recommend cleaning your air ducts annually. But we do recommend having them inspected yearly for debris, cracks and misalignment.

This inspection ensures your heating travels as efficiently as possible. And that you’re not wasting any heat in the process.


Change Your HVAC Air Filter

Our HVAC experts recommend changing your air filters every 30-90 days for performance and efficiency.

If you have a small family, no pets and no known allergies, changing your air filter every 90 days should be enough.

But if any of the above variables are present in your home, we recommend upping that filter change to every 30 days.

Your filter traps unwanted and potentially harmful particles in your indoor air. So, as you can probably guess, they can get pretty clogged up over time with dust, pet hair and other contaminants.

And the more clogged your filter gets, the harder your system has to work to push air out.


Reset And Test Your Thermostat

Resetting, reprogramming and testing your thermostat at the start of each season is crucial.

If you have a traditional thermostat, you’ll need to reset it to the appropriate temperature. And adjust it manually from there.

But if you have a programmable thermostat, you have way more control!

A programmable thermostat allows you to choose specific temperature settings throughout the day. Essentially, this system builds a temperature schedule for your home.

Once you’ve set your thermostat, it’s time to test the system!

Nobody wants to make a no-heat call in the middle of a spontaneous cold front up north. While our emergency HVAC team would be at your doorstep to get things working as soon as possible, we’d much rather help you avoid that catastrophe.

Testing your thermostat ensures your home is heating to the proper temperature all season long.


Change The Water Panel On Your Humidifier

If you’ve paired a humidity control system with your home furnace, you’ll need to change its water panel.

If your water panel becomes clogged, the humidifier is useless.

As water panels become clogged, they become less efficient - just like an air filter. And your humidifier will have to work harder, using more electricity, to operate.

Not only will your humidifier not work as well as it should, but you’ll also be paying more in electricity bills!

We recommend changing your water panel at least once per season.


Change The Batteries In Your Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are two of the most crucial home safety devices. And both can help save your life.

But only if they have batteries!

At the start of every season, ensure these home detectors have fresh batteries and are functioning.


Inspect Your Water Heater

Your water heater is another HVAC appliance you don’t want to be without over the cold months.

When preparing your water heater for the cold season, be sure to:

  • Check the pressure relief valve.
  • Inspect the anode rod.
  • Flush the tank (this helps release sediment buildup).

These maintenance tasks help ensure your water heater is ready to take on the season ahead!


Install Frozen Pipe Protection

While we hope to have at least another month of above-zero temperatures, that isn’t always the case. And it’s better that we prepare for an early freeze than get caught off guard without the proper protection.

Frozen pipes can be extremely hazardous to your home, causing:

  • Damage to your heat circulation,
  • Poor water flow,
  • Water damage and
  • Mould growth.

Frozen pipe protection (heat cables) heat pipes enough to keep the water inside from freezing.


Invest In An Annual HVAC Maintenance Plan

Is this list overwhelming you?

As a new homeowner, you probably already have a lot of tasks on your to-do list.

Our HVAC maintenance team can help lighten the load!

Our Maintenance Plans ensure your system(s) are always in good working order - ready for the season ahead!

Learn more about our Maintenance Plans here!


Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating and Electric Ensures Your Home is Safe, Cozy And Ready For The Cold!

At Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating and Electric, we care about your comfort and safety at home. It’s why we do what we do!

Want more HVAC and plumbing tips this upcoming fall and winter? Sign up for our monthly blog! We share expert advice from our in-house industry experts. So you’re always ready - for whatever Canadian weather throws at you!

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