October is the perfect time to get your home ready for winter. The weather is still decent, especially this year, so use this time to look for potential problems and check things off your home maintenance to-do list.
The later we get into fall, the more you’ll want to stay indoors, so get your outdoor checkups out of the way as early as possible. Here are some things to look for:
- Weak, Dead, or Overhanging Tree Limbs
Fall and spring are notorious for heavy, wet Colorado snowfalls. Walk around your property and note potential problems that could result in downed power lines or damage to your home, landscaping, and other property—including your neighbors’.
If you see potential problems, be careful. Professional tree services know what to do and how to do it safely. If you do it yourself, be smart and safe. Keep ladders and tools well away from power lines and make sure your ladders are on firm footing. Don’t reach away from you ladder and stay balanced at all times.
- Call Before You Dig
Fall is the best time to plant many trees and other outdoor vegetation. But even a single shovel blow can sever a water or gas line and contacting a live electrical wire can cause serious injury or even death.
Before you dig deeper than a foot or so, call 811 to have underground power lines marked. It’s free and usually done within a few days of your request. It’s also required by law. Any damage caused by digging can result in fines on top of repair (and medical) bills.
- Outdoor Lighting
Soon it will be dark before five o’clock, so check that your outdoor lighting is in good working order. Pay particular attention to safety lighting for walkways, porches, and other traffic areas. Check lights, motion detectors, sensors, and timers for proper functioning.
If you see areas that need new or improved lighting, call a licensed electrician to be sure the installation is safe, up to code, and will do the job you want it to do.
Cold weather and early sunsets mean you’ll be spending even more time indoors than you have during the current pandemic. Paying attention to your indoor spaces will help you stay safe and comfortable—and maybe even help you from going stir-crazy. Here are some suggestions:
- Keep Your Heating System in Good Working Order
Homeowners can help forced-air systems perform their best by simply changing filters on a regular basis. Follow your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, including the size and type of filters to use. Schedule an annual cleaning and maintenance check with a qualified HVAC company.
And don’t overlook your thermostat(s). Is it in the right place for optimal performance? Changes in layouts or room use may dictate a move. Is it time to upgrade to a programmable or “smart” thermostat? Some are easy for DIY installation, but others have more complex wiring, including high-voltage connections. Don’t risk damage, injury, or poor performance. Call a licensed electrician or HVAC installer.
- Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Test your alarms monthly and change batteries per manufacturer’s recommendations. If your alarms are hard-wired to your household current, call a licensed electrician to replace or install, move, or add them.
- Identify Electrical Issues Before They Become Trouble
Electrical problems cause over 47,000 house fires every year resulting in more than 2,000 deaths and serious injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage. We rely on indoor lights and appliances more in the fall and winter and with old fixtures, fuses, and breakers straining under the added load of new devices and seasonal demands, you need to be aware of the warning signs of trouble to come. They include:
- Lights that flicker, dim, or blink
- Warm or discolored wall plates
- A burning odor emanating from switches or outlets
- Circuit breakers tripping often or regularly blown fuses
- Receptacles that crackle, sizzle, or buzz
- Any mild shock or from appliances, receptacles, or switches
If you experience any of these warning signs, call a licensed electrician to diagnose and solve the problem before disaster strikes.
Don’t risk your fall comfort and safety by ignoring these simple steps. Allstar Electrical Services delivers the quality results you expect and deserve for your fall fixes, whatever your needs may be. Just give us a call at 303.399.7420 or visit our website. Then use our handy online forms to request a free estimate or set up an appointment. We’ve served the Front Range for over 20 years, are top-rated by the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List and are proud to be listed as a preferred contractor by Home Advisor.