Keeping up with the seasons: Time for fall tasks

By Cincinnati Insurance

Closing the pool safely is one task to remember this fall.

We’re less than four weeks from the start of fall: time to start thinking about some annual tasks if you live in a part of the country with seasonal temperature changes. Our bloggers have you covered. Here are some posts from the past that can help you through the change of seasons.

INSPECT YOUR HEATING SYSTEM

Whether it’s a forced-air furnace at home or a boiler in your business, now is the time to get it inspected. Just as you need regular checkups for your body, your building’s “circulatory system” also needs periodic inspection. Have a qualified inspector look things over, just to be safe. Sometimes this is covered at no additional charge in a service agreement. Make sure your heating system is in shape when you are ready to fire it up in cold weather.

PUT AWAY ‘TOYS’ – AND MAYBE SAVE SOME BUCKS

Even grown-ups have toys, and some of them (motorcycles, boats, convertibles or RVs) have price tags that are not child’s play. But in cooler areas, the change of seasons means an opportunity to save a little money. If you store your car, boat or motorcycle for the cold months, see if your insurance policy offers a credit. You’ll still want property coverage, but if you’re not using your toy, you might not need the liability coverage for the winter months and can save the associated expense.

COMPLETE HOME MAINTENANCE TASKS

Before it gets too cold or unpleasant to work outside, make one last run at your home maintenance “to-do” list. Gutters, pipes, storm windows, weatherstripping – it’s a lot easier to work on them now than to wait until it’s below freezing.

Steps you take this fall to maintain your home can keep you warm this winter and protect your property from loss.

As you take advantage of fall weather to work on projects around your home, pay special attention to these potential trouble spots:

  • Clean out your gutters. Remove leaves and other debris from your guttersfirst by hand to get rid of the large particles, and then with a scraping tool and water hose before cold weather arrives. This helps to prevent overflows and ice damming. Ice dams are caused when snow melts on a heated part of the roof, then refreezes on a colder portion of the roof.  This creates a dam and allows water to back up under the shingles, causing damage to insulation and interior ceilings or walls. The University of Minnesota Extension Service has more information about preventing ice dams.
  • Make sure downspouts properly guide the water away from the home.Direct downspouts at least 6 feet from the foundation.
  • Use door sweeps and caulk to block drafty areas of the home from the winter cold. Common areas for these are recess lighting areas, electrical outlets, door frames and windows.
  • Have your furnace and chimney checked and cleanedannually. Change your furnace filter regularly; every three months is typical.
  • Vacuum out your air ducts.Every few years, the air ducts should be vacuumed to help make sure that heated air passes through with no obstacles.
  • Remove screens and put up storm windows. Add weatherstripping to seal out cold air, increasing your furnace’s efficiency.
  • Reverse the circulation of your ceiling fans.As you fire up the furnace for the heating season, reverse your ceiling fanblades to rotate clockwise, creating an updraft that forces warm air down into the room. This can provide additional energy savings.

Taken from Cincinnati Insurance Company’s Blog