Prepare your home for fall
(Printable Checklist at the Bottom)
1. Clean your gutters.
To prevent damage to your home, ensure your roof's drainage system stays clear by cleaning your gutters and installing mesh gutter guards before fall.
2. Seal up air leaks
Proper weather stripping and sealing gaps in caulk around windows and doors can significantly reduce heating costs and improve home comfort by preventing cold air from entering, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, while also recommending periodic inspections for maintenance.
3. Inspect your roof.
4. Protect faucets from freezing temperatures.
Prevent freezing and bursting of outside faucets by closing shut-off valves (or using styrofoam faucet covers if needed) and ensure in-ground irrigation systems are winterized following the manufacturer's instructions.
5. Empty your furnace filter.
Regularly cleaning and maintaining furnace filters, whether disposable, foam, metal, or electrostatic, is essential to prevent clogs and increased energy costs, with various methods depending on the filter type.
6. Give your furnace a checkup.
Scheduling a professional heating system inspection in early fall, before winter, is recommended, especially if you notice signs like noisy belts, reduced performance, or erratic behavior.
7. Prepare your fireplace.
Annually inspect your fireplace and chimney for potential hazards, including creosote buildup, damage, and flue blockages, with a professional chimney sweep recommended for a comprehensive assessment, and ensure the flue cap is in place to prevent obstructions and nesting birds.
8. Keep the humidifier running.
Maintain your central humidifier during the winter months to prevent fine wood from cracking and improve your home's comfort by inspecting and cleaning the plates or pads, removing mineral deposits if needed.
9. Ward off gas problems.
Regular professional maintenance of gas heaters is crucial for safety and cost-efficiency, but homeowners should also periodically clean air-shutter openings, exhaust vents, air passages, and the burner to ensure proper operation.
10. Keep wood fires burning.
Regularly inspect wood-burning stoves for safety by examining stovepipes, checking for corrosion and cracks, and ensuring proper safety features are in place.
11. Repair walkways.
Repair damaged walkways, driveways, and steps in the fall to prevent icy hazards and avoid costly repairs, focusing on cracks, uneven sections, loose railings, and disintegration, reserving major repairs for professionals.
12. Review your house' safety features.
Annually, conduct a comprehensive home safety check, which includes replacing smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries, inspecting fire extinguishers, reviewing fire escape plans, and ensuring clutter-free, safe surroundings.
13. Prepare your lawn for winter.
Ensure your lawn's well-being in the spring by tackling essential fall tasks like raking leaves, aerating, fertilizing, and winterizing plants, with the option of hiring professional lawn care services for convenience.
14. Touch up exterior paint.
Take advantage of warm fall days to apply exterior paint for siding and trim maintenance, and consider refreshing surfaces that may be exposed to snow like porch stairs or wood floors, but be mindful of temperature restrictions, ideally above 45° to 50°F, and plan accordingly with a local painter or DIY project.
15. Clean your carpets.
Fall, with its moderate weather and good ventilation opportunities, is the ideal season for carpet cleaning, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, allowing you to enjoy the remaining warm days while your carpets dry.
Happy Fall! -Harmony