September 23 is the first day of fall for 2019, which doesn’t give us a whole lot of time to get our homes ready. But, if you do just one or two fall home maintenance tasks each weekend, you’ll have it done before you know it.
It’s home fire season
Almost 40 percent of deaths in home fires occur in homes without smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Having smoke alarms with dead batteries is just as bad, by the way, as not having them at all.
Make your first fall home maintenance task one that saves lives: Do a check of all the smoke alarms in your home.
Can’t remember when you last changed the batteries? Change of all them now.
Fire experts say that we need one smoke alarm outside of each bedroom and on all levels of the home. The exception to this rule comes into play if you sleep with your bedroom door closed. If so, experts suggest you install a smoke alarm inside the room as well.
If you don’t have enough alarms, or if any of them are 10 years of age or older, make it a point to buy and install more.
Did you know that there are two types of smoke alarms? The ionization alarm detects flaming fires while smoldering fires are picked up by a photoelectric alarm. The NFPA suggests you use both types within the home.
Keep the warm air in and the cold air out
Even newer homes can have leaky doors and windows. Trying to regulate the air in a home when the heat is escaping and the cold air is invading is tough on your HVAC system. It’s expensive as well.
If it’s been some time since you’ve checked the weather stripping around the doors and windows in your home, do so now, before the weather turns nippy.
The pros say that if you can rattle your windows, it’s time to head to the hardware store for weather stripping.
Then, stand back and look at the doors to the exterior of the home. If there’s daylight penetrating around the frames, you’ll want to weather strip the doors as well.
Need some incentive? The Department of Energy calculates a 10 to 15 percent savings on your winter energy bill from just this one fall home maintenance task.
Tune up that workhorse
One of the most expensive-to-replace systems in the home is the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC). The average lifespan of a system is between 15 and 20 years, if it is properly maintained.
Then there are all those smaller components that make up the system, each with its own lifespan. The HVAC system is the most used system in the home, making it the home’s workhorse. And, fall is the perfect time to have it tuned up so that it serves you well through the winter.
You’ll need to call in a pro for an inspection, but it’s well worth the money.
Oil heating systems often leak and the cost of cleaning up such a leak can run between $20,000 and $50,000.
Forced air HVAC systems require annual inspections as well and don’t forget to stop by the hardware or home improvement store for a supply of filters (they should be replaced monthly).
Inspect the home’s exterior
You want to keep all that wet, winter weather outside, right? Step outside and do a quick inspection of the home’s exterior to ensure it will shelter you from it.
- Clean out clogged gutters and run water through them to ensure they don’t leak.
- Are the downspouts taking water away from the home? Redirect them if they aren’t.
- Check the siding for signs of wear. Add new caulking if necessary.
- Wrap the home’s exterior water pipes and blow out the irrigation system.
- Check the trees for cracked branches and trim them off.
Sure, there is a lot more fall home maintenance that you can do, but the basics will help you stay safe, warm, dry and save money.
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Introduction to Jennifer Y. Ross & The Westchester Living Team at COMPASS
Jennifer comes from Platinum Drive to Compass as an experienced agent. She epitomized Platinum Drive Realty’s motto “I grew up here. I live here. I sell homes here” and she is known for providing each of her clients with an exceptional experience guided by her expert local knowledge. She works tirelessly to ensure each of her clients has a professional, enjoyable and successful Westchester community & home buying search or selling experience. She often remains very friendly with her clients and welcomes the opportunity to be an ongoing resource as they settle into Westchester Living. Every step she takes will embody her core principals; integrity can never be compromised, clients’ interests always come first and character, commitment, and passion truly matter. For her buyer clients, Jennifer looks forward to the opportunity of being “Your NYC to Westchester” guide and real estate broker. For her seller clients, Jennifer is proficient at implementing an aggressive marketing strategy in order to obtain the best price possible in a highly efficient and seamless manner. Jennifer thoroughly enjoys assisting buyer clients in navigating the landscape of the Westchester residential real estate market. She is skilled at enabling clients to define where they see opportunity & facilitating the process from initial search through closing. Jennifer was awarded the Platinum Drive Star Award for Outstanding Performance in Sales & Client Services in 2014 & Platinum Drive Realty’s Superstar Award for Excellence in Sales and Client Services 2015 & 2016 for her outstanding performance in sales and client service. In addition to her passion for local real estate, Jennifer has a firsthand understanding of home renovation and new construction. Upon moving from NYC to Scarsdale, she and her husband performed an extensive renovation on their first home. After completion, they moved onto their second project in Larchmont, a full house renovation and expansion. More recently she is active with local developers who specialize in new home construction, home expansions and renovations. Jennifer has the ability to understand a home’s full potential and can help clients find or create their dream home. Jennifer was the Manager of Platinum Drive Realty’s Larchmont Office. Jennifer was raised in Scarsdale. After graduating from Scarsdale High School, Jennifer received a BA in Child Study & Sociology from Tufts University and an MA in Language & Literacy from New York University. Jennifer currently lives in Larchmont with her husband, Michael, and their three sons, Braden, Devon & Zane. She specializes in communities in Southern Westchester with a concentrated focus on the Sound Shore Communities of Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye Neck, Rye, New Rochelle as well as her hometown of Scarsdale. Prior to real estate, Jennifer was a teacher in the Mamaroneck Public Schools. Jennifer has a deep understanding of the local school systems and the needs of young families.
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Jennifer is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker & has her Accredited Buyer Representative designation (ABR) and her Seller Representative Specialist designation (SRS). Jennifer is a member of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors & the National Association of Realtors. Jennifer’s
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