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Essentials of post summer maintenance

By Natasa Marinkovic

SHAPE UP FOR AUTUMN: THE ESSENTIALS OF POST-SUMMER MAINTENANCE

This summer’s been a beauty. There’s been days when it’s been hot enough to fry an egg on a car bonnet, and barely a drop of rain has been seen in many parts of the country. But sadly the season’s come to an end, making way for the cooler climes of autumn.

Now that you’re back from the beach it’s time to get your home ready for the seasonal changes – just a little work on your property now could save you thousands in the long run.

DOUBLE-CHECK YOUR HEATING

If the cost of heating your home over autumn and winter makes you feel a little hot under the collar you’re not alone.

If the cost of heating your home over autumn and winter makes you feel a little hot under the collar you’re not alone. According to Department of the Environment and Energy, 40 per cent of the energy we use at home is for heating and cooling.

Your heat pump’s probably sitting unused on the wall gathering dust, and may not be in the best condition come autumn and winter when it’s most needed. This can cause it to run less efficiently or even break when you need it the most.

Spending a little time to maintain it yourself, or a little money to have it looked at by a professional could save you hundreds.

CHECK ROOFS AND GUTTERS

Climbing up on your roof is dangerous in summer, so imagine doing so when the rain starts falling this autumn. Before the weather takes a turn take the time to safely inspect your roof and guttering – look for cracked tiles, signs of rust and curling or broken flashing.

Even better, hire someone to inspect the roof for you to avoid risking your safety. If they decide it’s in need of attention, the Australian Roofing and Building Source estimates repairs could cost you as little as $500. That’s nothing compared to the cost of replacing your roof due to poor maintenance, which could be as much as $48,000 according to Archicentre.

Switch it off

If you leave your system on 24 hours a day this could cost you as much as $200 a year.

Now that the days are starting to cool a little your kids (and maybe you) might be inside more often playing video games. It’s a great way to pass the time when the weather gets cooler, but it could be massively increasing your electricity bill according to Department of the Environment and Energy.

If you leave your system on 24 hours a day this could cost you as much as $200 a year. Have a quick chat to the kids to make sure they’re turning off after playing and you could save hundreds in the blink of an eye.

GET TO TRIMMING

Autumn can be a gardeners nightmare, particularly if you’ve got several deciduous trees around your backyard. Once a year they shed their leaves covering lawns and filling gutters, making keeping your garden looking pristine an uphill task.

A little preventative maintenance could be the key to making sure your garden looks its best over  the next three months. Trim back trees that overhang your yard as much as possible, install gutter guards to prevent blockage and consider hiring a gardener once a fortnight during autumn.

That way you’ll have a beautiful green lawn to look out over all through the year.

CHECK YOUR HOT WATER SYSTEM

According to the Archicentre cost guide replacing your system could cost $1,180 to $1,630.

After summer when the mornings start to get a little frosty there’s no doubt the length of showers in your home are going to increase. After all, there’s few better ways to heat up in the morning before heading off to work.

This means that your hot water system’s going to get a lot more use, and if it’s getting old this could test its limits. According to the Archicentre cost guide replacing your system could cost $1,180 to $1,630, which is a hefty bill no matter how you look at it.

Avoid this by paying a professional to inspect and maintain your unit before heavy use in the winter months. This might cost you a couple hundred dollars, now but it could save you over $1,000 and several cold showers during autumn and winter.

SEAL IT UP

Drafts and cold chills have a way of getting into your home through any tiny gap you leave. In fact, Department of the Environment and Energy estimates that as much as 40 per cent of a home’s heating energy can leak out through windows during the colder months.

If you’re handy with a sealant gun inspect all of your windows during summer, and plug any holes you find. If not hire a repair man to help. Once again doing this could cost you a couple hundred in the short term, but may save you hundreds in heating bills ever autumn and winter.

We’re all sad to see summer go. However, with a little elbow grease and some know-how, your home can be just as comfortable during autumn.

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