Now that Labor Day Weekend is over, back to school is here and the temperatures will start changing soon, how do you prepare your home for the colder months ahead?
Unfortunately, it takes a little more work than hanging a wreath and light a pumpkin scented candle. While yes, those will help your home feel cozier during the change of seasons, there are more important preparations that come with being a homeowner. It is very important to take care of your home according to the seasonal changes, especially this time of year. Theses tasks will be helpful in the long run!
Here are 11 things to do every year to get your home and yard ready for the colder months before it’s too late.
Continue Watering the Lawn in Fall: Yes, your grass will still need water. Fall watering helps your lawn recover from summer stress and gain strength for the winter ahead. You don’t need to water as often as during the hot Summer months, but keep watering until the ground starts to freeze.
Aerate & fertilize your grass: If you want to keep your lawn looking great in the spring and summer, you need to prep it for the Fall and Winter. Roots are still active when the grass isn’t growing, so applying fertilizer will prevent winter damage.
Clean the gutters: Clogged gutters can lead to exterior and interior wall damage. If they are clogged, they will only clog more with the upcoming falling leaves.
Remove Garden Hoses & drain outdoor faucets: Once the temperatures drop and the ground starts to freeze, you wont need to water the lawn for a few months. Remove the house, and drain the faucets to prevent them from freezing when it gets really cold.
Remove or cover outdoor furniture: If you have a shed or space in your garage, store your out door furniture. If not, it pays off to invest in furniture coverings. Outdoor furniture really takes a beating from being exposed to the elements during the colder months. Storing and/or covering your tables and chairs, will extend their life!
Cover Your Air Conditioning: This will protect your unit from falling leaves, debris and becoming eroded. If you have window units, remove and put them away.
Check Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Check your detectors every 6 months, it is very important to take the proper precautions so that those detectors work property in the event of an emergency.
Check your Fireplace & Chimney: Before using it often during the colder months, make sure your chimney is clean. According to the FamilyHandyMan.com a quick way to tell if your chimney needs cleaning is to run the point of your fireplace poker along the inside of your chimney liner. If you find a 1/8-in. or more layer of buildup (the thickness of a nickel), call a chimney sweep.
Check for Drafts & Caulk Your Windows: Heat loss through windows is responsible for 25-30 percent of heating energy use, according to the U.S Department of Energy. Check for any drafts around any of your windows. Caulk is an easy fix that will prevent cool air from entering your home, and will help save on your heating bill. An easy alternative to caulk is weather-stripping.
Check Your Winter Equipment: Make sure your snow blower works, that your shovels are in good shape and that you have ice melting salt. This way, you won’t have to rush to store as the first snow storm is announced.
Prepare your Furnace & Radiators: One of the most important home features during the colder months is your heating unit and radiators. Depending on the type of system you have, you will need to do some of the following: change filters, clear steam radiators, bleed hot water radiators, etc. This steps will improve your heating system’s efficiency and and the air quality inside your home.
I hope you found these tips helpful! Fall is a great time to boost your home’s energy efficiency and prevent damage from the Winter months.