eavestrough with leavesThere’s a certain crispness in the air, the leaves are starting to change, and school is back in session. We’re a few days into fall and many people are starting to prepare their homes for the cooler, wetter weather that the fall and winter months bring. Here are 10 tips to prepare your home and property for fall and winter.

  1. Clean eavestroughs and downspouts
    After a long dry summer, it’s easy to forget about the various debris that can gather in eavestroughs and downspouts. Even if there are no trees on your property or near your house, it’s important to check, you never know what birds or squirrels might have hidden up there. This is also a great time to check that eavestroughs and downspouts are in good condition, check for areas where caulking may have worn away, or where they may have come away from your roof or house.
  2. Draft proof your doors and windows
    Take some time to check for windows that may need new caulking and exterior doors that need new weather stripping. Over time, you may notice that mold or mildew has set in on caulking around windows, this can be a sign that it’s time to replace the caulking to reseal. Replacing the weather stripping around doors is a quick way to improve your home’s ability to retain heat. These upgrades will help keep the temperature in your home more consistent and save you money on your heating bill.
  3. Winterize your air conditioning system
    Central air conditioning, ductless air conditioning, or portable air conditioning units will all have ways to be decommissioned for the season. To start, ensure that the unit is turned off. For exterior units, remove any grass, weeds, or other debris from the area surrounding the unit. Next cover pipes with some foam tubing to prevent freezing. Some models recommend using a waterproof cover, so it’s best to check with manufacturer guidelines. Portable units will need to be drained, and filters cleaned.
  4. Clean and inspect your furnace, baseboard heaters
    Chances are the last time you needed to use these devices was in the early spring months before the weather heated up. Through the spring and summer months, your heating vents (especially if you don’t have central air conditioning) and baseboard heaters have gathered dust. Vacuum air ducts, or hire a professional to clean them. Vacuum and wipe down baseboard heaters. If you have young children in your home, you may even find a stray toy.
  5. Test smoke detectors, carbon monoxide and replace batteries
  6. Clean and reverse ceiling fan blades
    Many ceiling fans have the option to reverse the direction of the blades. Ceiling fans are a great option to keep air circulating year-round. Reversing the blades can help move hot air down from high ceilings in cooler months.
  7. Clean and cover outdoor furniture
    On the patio or balcony, it’s time to clean outdoor furniture, warm soapy water will wash away dirt and grime that has accumulated through months of use. Next, cover or store outdoor furniture when not in use. Doing this can prolong the life of your outdoor furniture and 
  8. Check chimney and fireplace
    Whether you have a wood-burning fireplace and chimney or a natural gas fireplace it is important to have it professionally cleaned and inspected regularly, the fall is a great time for this to ensure that everything is in good and safe working order before colder weather arrives. Natural gas fireplaces may need valves inspected and cleaned prior to use to ensure that there are no leaks.
  9. Fertilize lawn and garden
    Adding a fall fertilizer to your lawn and garden can help provide additional nutrients to keep your landscaping nourished and ready for the dormant season.
  10. Reorganize Outdoor Tools
    Regardless of where you store your summer and winter outdoor tools, it’s time to rotate the fall and winter items forward and check for items that may need to be replaced (think broken rakes and snow shovels).

Cooler weather is right around the corner whether we’re ready for it or not. Most of the tasks mentioned here can be completed over the course of a weekend, or if you’d rather hire someone, we’d be happy to recommend a local professional to get the job done.

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Posted by Scott Sauermann on
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