September 8, 2022
Though you might be excited to prepare your home for colder weather by filling your porch with fall decor and making everything pumpkin spice-flavored, you should add some not-so-fun (but necessary) home maintenance tasks to your list.
An important part of home ownership is home maintenance, and fall is a great time to inspect your home, make repairs, and prepare it for the winter months ahead.
Here are some things to take care of around your home this fall to ensure a comfortable winter:
Cleaning out your gutters should be the first item on your to-do list. If they’re working properly, gutters drain thousands of gallons of water from your roof each year. If they’re clogged, they can overflow and cause extensive water damage to your home. Clear them of any obstructions and make sure your downspouts are draining at least four feet from your home.
Walk around the outside of your home and look for damaged siding and shingles that might invite pests or weather into your home.
Remove damaged trees or limbs that may break and trim back shrubs. It’s also important to clear your property of leaves. Leaving fallen leaves in your yard can damage grass, attract pests and bugs, and even become a fire hazard.
Grass roots are still active even when the grass isn’t growing, so fertilize your lawn in the fall to feed the roots throughout the cold winter season. You’ll be treated with green grass in early spring and fewer weeds.
Drain your hoses and put them away for the winter. Check your faucets for leaks and ensure your pipes have adequate insulation to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
Protecting outdoor furniture during harsh winter months will help it last longer. Move it inside or use covers to protect it from the elements.
If you have a generator, snow blower, or any other winter equipment, make sure to test it out before cold weather hits. You won’t want to be tinkering in your garage on the days you need to use it! Don’t forget to top off your spare gas container, too.
Once you’ve serviced your equipment, make sure it’s organized and accessible for when you need it.
Clean your HVAC unit and the surrounding area to prevent obstructions. Obstructions in an HVAC can cause up to a 30% energy increase, so a quick clean can help you save money all winter. This is also a great time to replace your filter. If you’re concerned about the efficiency of your HVAC, call a professional and have them inspect it.
Drafty doors and windows are responsible for 25-30 percent of heating energy use. To diminish drafts and save on your energy bill, update your windows with new seals, weather stripping, or add caulk. Particularly drafty windows should be replaced, but if that’s not the budget, heavy-duty curtains can help insulate your home.
Save money on your heating bill by purchasing a programmable thermostat. Setting your thermostat back while you’re away at work could save you up to 10% on your heating bill in the winter.
Did you know that your ceiling fan blades need to be reversed for hot and cold seasons? In the winter, warm air rises up to the ceiling fan while cool air stays close to the ground. Reversing the blades will force warm air down and pull cool air up.
If you use your fireplace in the winter, do your annual inspection and cleaning in the fall so it’s ready for the season ahead. Don’t forget to stock up on firewood!
Check the batteries in your flashlights and stock up on extras for days with potential power outages. You should put fresh batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, too.
Your home is a big investment, and it's important to take care of it throughout the year. Performing these maintenance tasks will help ensure that your home stays in top shape year-round.