First Day of Fall – Is your home ready?

Today September 22 @ 10: 29 AM starts the beginning of fall for 2012. Those beautiful SW Florida winter days will be here before you know it.  Face the coming of cooler weather and the  approaching holidays with a clean, comfortable and efficient home. Here are a few energy savings and home maintenance tips for preparing your home for the coming change in seasons.

  •  Change your air filters so that your air conditioning system is ready for the winter months.  A dirty air filter can make your heating and cooling system work harder and use more energy.  This will also help with reducing dust, dander and mites inside your home.
  • Save fuel costs by reprogramming your thermostat for the winter month’s temperatures.

    Florida Pumpkins and leaves

    Fall Florida Style

  • With the cooler weather you may want to open windows and let in some fresh air.  Be sure all your window screens are free of  defects.  If you don’t feel you can’t tackle this task your local hardware store can do this for you for a small fee.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Pick the same time each year to do this so that you will always remember.
  •  You may not use your heating system in the Florida winter weather often however you certainly don’t want to wait till the last minute to find out it is not working. Now is a good time to call a service provider and have your system thoroughly inspected. A small particle of dust can cause a heating system to stop working.  Don’t wait until the heat goes out in the middle of a cold night to find out just how cold your home can get with no heat.
  •  If you have a wood or fossil fuel burning fireplace have the chimney inspected.  Chimney fires are common and can result in great loss.
  • Clear any brush away from your home that may have accumulated over the summer. Brush piled beside the home provides an opportunity for water damage, rodent infestation and fuel for forest fires.
  • Fall is a good time to replenish your landscape mulch.  Since the rainy season is about to end your mulch is more likely to stay in place which will help protect your plants from the cooler temperatures. Remember keep your mulch at least six inches away from your foundation walls to prevent termite infestation.
  • To ensure proper operating of your water heater you should flush the sediment build-up and check  the temperature and pressure relief valves for proper operation.  Operate all angle shut off valves at least twice a year to ensure valves operate and to prevent the valve mechanisms from seizing over time. In times of extremely cold such as heavy frost warnings, not often in the South Florida climate, consider running your faucets on a slow drip to prevent pipe freezing.
  • Check the caulk around all the windows and doors of your home.  Follow manufacturer’s recommendations to re-caulk if needed.

Read more  ways to receive discounts or credits on your Florida homeowners wind insurance policy with a Wind Mitigation inspection. 


Fred Sylvester, of Accredited Building Consultants, is a State of Florida Certified Home Inspector and Commercial Building Inspector with over 35 years of construction experience. Fred specializes in Southwest Florida, including Home Inspections and Commercial Building Inspections in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Naples FL.
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