As much as many of us would like to hang on to summer, Fall is just about here and with that brings cooler days, longer nights, and for those of us farther North changing leaves and frosty mornings. With the changing of the seasons, there’s some prep to be done.
Check your Gutters – Clean out any leaves or debris that may have collected up there to make sure that they drain properly. While you’re up there, you should also check for any damage and repair or replace pieces as necessary. To prevent leaves from collecting and clogging them, consider installing mesh guards.
Winterize Outdoor Faucets – If you have a shut off valve for your outdoor faucets switch it to off. Then turn on the faucets and let any water drain out. If you have an outdoor irrigation system, check the owner’s manual for instructions.
Fix Up Driveways/Walkways – Check for major cracks or dips and patch them. This will help to make it safer once winter comes and prevent the cracks from worsening when temperatures reach freezing. This is also a great time to install low voltage lights along paths and near the doors to brighten things up.
Clean up the Yard – Raking the lawn, removing dead leaves or stems, and other debris from your garden and lawn helps your yard to “breathe.” This is also a great time plant bulbs and to trim down and mulch around perennials, shrubs, & trees to protect them during the winter. You should also check that your dryer’s outdoor vent is clean and that nothing is blocking it.
Check Door & Window Seals – To help keep your home warmer and save energy, check for wear or damage to the seals around your windows and doors and repair as needed. If you use weather stripping, you can test the seal the same way you would a refrigerator gasket. Simply close a piece of paper in the window and try to pull it out. If it pulls out easily, it’s time to replace it. You’ll also want to swap out your screens for storm windows.
Protect or Store Your AC – If you have a window unit, you’ll want to remove, clean, and store it somewhere cool and dry for the winter months. For Central AC units, much like in the Spring you’ll want to clear any debris and clean up your outdoor unit. If it snows where you live, you may also want to consider covering it.
A few other things you may want to do include having your roof inspected for damage or leaks, cleaning and oiling any outdoor or gardening tools, scrubbing down your patio/porch/deck, cleaning the grill, and power washing & drying your outdoor furniture or cushions before storing them for the season.
Inside the House:
In addition to prepping outside, there are a few things you should inside as well.
Run your Ceiling Fans Clockwise – Earlier this summer we shared a tip to keep your home cooler by running ceiling fans counter-clockwise. The reverse works during the winter. Simply flip the switch on your ceiling fans so they run clockwise so they push down the warm air trying to escape up to the ceiling.
Prep your Furnace & Duct Work – We’ve actually written a few blogs talking more in depth about this. For an overview check out: Are You Ready For Winter? | Fall/Winter Furnace Prep Tips or find more specific tips and troubleshooting help under the Furnace Help Catetgory.
Test Your Safety Monitors – Because you’ll likely be shutting up the windows and using your furnace & oven more soon, Fall is the ideal time to test your Smoke Detectors, Carbon Monoxide Monitors, and to check your Fire Extinguisher (it should be replaced every six years). You should have at least one extinguisher in your home near the kitchen, but it’s not a bad idea to have one on each floor. Change any batteries, and if you do need to replace your extinguisher write the date you purchased it right on it so you can keep track of how long you’ve had it.
Clean it Up – Vacuum your furniture, air vents, curtains/drapes, and other upholstered surfaces with a brush attachment to help reduce dust. When it comes to your mattress, try sprinkling it with baking soda before vacuuming it and flip or rotate it if possible.
You may also want to hang heavier drapes or doubling up your curtains to block drafts, replacing the Water Pads in your humidifier (find out why a humidifier is the perfect addition to any home during the winter), and cleaning out your fireplace & having your chimney swept/inspected if you didn’t already in the Spring.
Although that might not be everything, this should give you a good starting point for what to do this fall to prepare your home for the colder days to come. We hope you found this helpful! If you did please like this post and share it with a friend. If you have any additional tips, questions, or ideas for blogs you’d like to see be sure to leave them for us in the comments and don’t forget to visit our website 1stSourceServall.com!
Written by: Sarah Walker