Texas Living

Back-to-School Home Maintenance Checklist

By Kristy Alpert 8.30.17

The beginning of fall means swapping out those beach bags for backpacks, as little learners head back to the classroom. Sending the kids back to school gives parents time with the house to themselves, making the new season the perfect time for homeowners to take care of a little homework of their own.

Tune Up for Fall

“As seasons change, so do our homes and the activities around our homes,” explains ​Andrea Barnard, executive director​ of the ​Texas Association of Real Estate Inspectors (TAREI)​.

“For this reason, it’s good to keep up with scheduled maintenance. Most commonly, this means having a licensed professional provide an HVAC tune-up each spring and fall to ensure your system is running smoothly, especially during the most severe weather events, and cleaning rain gutters and downspouts as needed to keep them flowing freely.”

Focus Your Energies

Barnard recommends focusing maintenance on just seven key areas around the home to make for a more relaxing fall.

  1. Fire extinguishers. Most fire extinguishers need to be replaced every five to 15 years, depending on the model number, but even if it’s not up for replacement, it should definitely be inspected and tagged by a professional to ensure it’s ready for action.
  2. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Test each detector separately and replace batteries as needed.
  3. Windows. Check the windows and doors for any air leaks and seal vulnerable spots with a quality caulk compatible with your door and wall materials.
  4. Attic. Be sure the attic’s insulation is in good condition for the upcoming fall and winter weather by scheduling an energy audit with your energy provider.
  5. Laundry room. Check the dryer vent to make sure it is free from lint and debris buildup, as these can be a potential fire hazard. 
  6. Return air filters. The single most important thing a homeowner can do to keep their heating ventilation and air conditioning system operating at peak efficiency is to keep the return air filters clean. TAREI recommends homeowners clean their vents at least twice a year.​ Filters should also be replaced regularly.
  7. Roof. Tree limbs rubbing on a roof can do serious damage, so trim overhanging branches enough to provide adequate clearance even in a high wind. This will help prevent insect infestation and minimize leaves and debris falling onto the roof surface.

Regular home maintenance plans address minor issues before they turn into big problems, and the same is true for maintaining your insurance coverage. Back-to-school season is a great time to make sure your policy is up-to-date with a 360 Review. Contact your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to schedule yours today.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2017 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance