Many people say that one of their favorite things about the fall season is the beautiful colors of the changing leaves on the trees. Regardless how you feel about the changing colors, you may not think it’s so great spending several hours of your free time raking and bagging leaves.
As much as you may not enjoy this necessary fall chore, it’s a must so that you can ensure that the outside of your home looks good and is properly maintained. In addition to raking leaves, cleaning your gutters is another required task this time of year. Failure to remove leaves from your gutters could result in trouble for the roof of your home once snow/ice begin to fall and eventually melt.
Clogged gutters don’t provide an escape route for rain and melting snow/ice, which means this precipitation will eventually drip down the sides of your home. This may ultimately cause damage to your home’s exterior, structural issues, mold growth, deterioration of your roof’s shingles and/or panels, and a variety of other problems.
Leaves vs. your furnace
Many homeowners may not think twice when it comes to fallen leaves and their potential impact on their home’s heating system. If you have a high-efficiency furnace installed, you likely have both an intake and exhaust pipe outside your home that connect to the heater inside. The pipes are often constructed of PVC materials, making them fairly weather resistant. Their downfall, however, is getting clogged with outdoor debris such as leaves.
When cleaning the gutters on your home, also ensure that there isn’t anything obstructing air flow with these pipes. It’s especially important that your exhaust pipe is clear since this is where dangerous gases, which are produced by your furnace during the heating process, are released. This also holds true for furnaces that utilize chimneys for exhaust. One notable gas that gets exhausted by a furnace is carbon monoxide, and if you have obstructed air flow from the exhaust pipe or chimney, it could lead to an incredibly dangerous situation for your family inside.
Cleaning leaves around your AC in the fall? Don’t forget this often-overlooked area!
Along with cleaning the roof and gutters of your home, and removing leaves from both your intake and exhaust pipes or chimney, it’s wise to clear around the base of your AC’s condenser unit. This time of year, it’s not uncommon for you to run your cooling system during the day and your heating system at night, due to the temperature extremes that are a regular occurrence during the early stages of fall.
This is why it’s critical for you to ensure that there aren’t leaves building up in the outdoor part of your AC. It’s also a great idea to trim back any bushes, tree limbs, etc. which may be growing too close to the condenser unit. Maintain a minimum of two feet of clearance around the unit so that air flow isn’t restricted.
Additional protection for your furnace
Taking care of these simple fall maintenance tasks now could prevent a lot of problems for you further into the season when the temperatures start to get colder, and you are relying on your heater more and more for safe, reliable warmth and comfort.
Along with these maintenance tips, we recommend that you schedule an annual tune-up for your furnace. At Oncourse Home Solutions, we offer an affordable Heating Maintenance Plan for homeowners like you. When you’re enrolled, you are entitled to a maintenance appointment for your heating system each year. That’s when a trained and experienced heating technician will ensure the safe and efficient operation of your furnace so that your family can stay comfy and cozy all season long!