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Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

Keep a home safe, efficient with fall maintenance tips

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As the end of summer approaches, homeowners may be more tempted to spend one more weekend afternoon lounging in the backyard instead of working around the house. Instead of complaining about leaving summer behind, homeowners may want to take a look at their properties to see if any possible problems are adding up. 

To get a comprehensive answer about a number of concerns, they should have a professional home inspection completed. Not only can this put a person's mind at ease, but it might also catch a potential safety hazard before it jeopardizes the house. 

Cut down on energy bills
The reason the fall is the best time to focus on fixing up a property is because very few people want to tackle these issues under feet of snow.

Being proactive is key to maintaining a safe and efficient home. Ignoring the heating system and energy leaks until it is too late will only end up costing a lot more money, when a property inspection can instead offer solutions before anything gets worse. 

Checking out the heating system is a solid first step that homeowners should take. This component should be in working order well before winter strikes, and when it gets really cold more people line up for repairs, according to financial advising firm Kiplinger. A motivated owner can skip the wait and take care of problems in the fall. 

In addition, monthly utility bills might be easily reduced with the addition of a programmable thermostat. Even if one is already installed in the home, it might not be set properly, Kiplinger noted. This device can keep the temperature comfortable during the day - say, at 70 degrees - and lower it at night to cut costs, down to a temperature closer to 62 degrees. 

Check for leaks around the house
In only around an hour or two a licensed home inspection professional may be able to identify a number of energy leaks and inefficient areas within a property. These problems can quickly raise monthly utility bills, and they will also let a good amount of hot air escape and cold air in during the winter. 

As a simple check, homeowners can also turn on the house fans and set the clothes dryer on "air dry," according to the Daily Green. Then, lighting candles and incense while walking around the house might illustrate just exactly where there are any drafts. 

All leaky areas should be immediately fixed, and another good step is to use weather-proofing strips to complete any seals, CBS's Denver affiliate noted. It is best to do this in the fall, before a cold home becomes a nuisance.

Look over the basement for safety concerns
In addition, when the warmer months are chugging along it can be easy for a homeowner to overlook everyday safety hazards.

For example, painting when it is warm out allows for ventilation by opening a window - but what happens to the partially-used paint cans? Some people store them in the basement next to the furnace, which is a major fire hazard, according to the Daily Green. During the summer obvious safety concerns might slip through the cracks, but when it is time to turn up the heat everything should be double-checked. 

Bob Sisson, a home inspection professional, explained to the Daily Green about why basements develop moisture problems.

"Wet basements are often the result of something changing," Sisson told the website. "Many times it's that the gutters have filled up or the downspouts are sending water where it doesn't belong. Now is the time to clean them out and consider installing downspout extensions, which are inexpensive and easy."

Overall, a property inspection may find the cause of a number of fall maintenance problems, leading to an easy fix.