Sweater weather is right around the corner, but before you cozy up in front of the fire with your steamy--or spiked--beverage of choice, you’ll need to prep your home for the coming season. The changing of the seasons is a big transition for your house, both inside and out. That means tackling a few crucial tasks, from yard work to light HVAC maintenance. We’ll be totally upfront--not all these tasks are fun. That’s why we put together a handy list to help you check ‘em off so you can get back to enjoying the fall festivities.
Clean your gutters
Gutters are pretty unfussy in terms of maintenance, but they do need a little TLC at the end of summer. Leaves, grass clippings, and rodents have a tendency to set up shop in your gutters during warm weather. This leads to clogs, which creates problems like leaky gutters and flooding. Fast forward to winter, and clogged gutters can even lead to dreaded ice dams. Cleaning your gutters ensures they’re clear and unobstructed for the cold weather ahead.
You can also spring for a gutter cover to stop leaves from blowing into your gutter. No more rickety ladders or dirty gutter cleaning jobs!
Pack up your outdoor furniture
Nothing takes the cheery gleam off summer furniture quite like a relentless freeze and thaw cycle. It doesn’t matter if the label boldly claims it can withstand hurricane-like conditions. Freezing temperatures, ice, and bitter winds will take their inevitable toll on even the sturdiest pieces. A waterproof furniture cover like this one by Enzeno will help take the edge off the worst of the winter weather. Even better is a nice, dry storage space like a garage or shed. Your furniture will thank you!
Patch up any cracks in your driveway
You know those tiny cracks in your driveway? The ones you only see when you kneel down to tie your shoelaces? Ice has a way of getting into those little, barely-there cracks and making them...big. Way bigger, given enough time. That’s why it’s important to patch up any little cracks in the pavement before freezing weather comes your way. Pop a little concrete crack sealer over it and call it a day!
Drain your outdoor faucets
As the balmy rays of summer fade into fall, you’ll find yourself packing up the sprinkler and kiddy pool. Don’t forget to disconnect the garden hose from the outdoor spigot and allow excess water to drain. This is an easy step to forget, but the oversight can be disastrous for your plumbing--like, exploding pipes disastrous.
Check your windows for drafts
Feel a cold breeze near certain windows or doors? It’s not your imagination. Drafty windows account for up to 30% of energy used in the home, according to the US Department of Energy. That means higher bills, a bigger carbon footprint, and a stressed-out furnace. Luckily, this is an easy fix with the right supplies. Weatherstripping and window film are affordable and DIY-friendly. For a more permanent (and visually appealing) solution, you can spring for a nice set of insulated curtains.
Freshen up HVAC air filters
There’s nothing like coming home on a cold winter day and taking a deep breath of...ice-cold air. Psyche! That’s no fun at all. Changing your air filter every couple months will keep your HVAC system running smoothly all winter long. A fresh filter also seriously improves your home’s air quality and lowers your heating bills. It’s a win-win! And if you want to take your environmental stewardship to the next level, you can invest in a reusable air filter. These flexible filters are made of a sturdy mesh and are tough enough to last for years.
Replace your batteries
No, this isn’t a tongue-in-cheek reference to getting caffeinated on pumpkin spice lattes, although you can accomplish this task with one in hand. All of your home’s battery-powered systems, like the thermostat, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors will need a fresh pair of batteries for fall. Even if your device is hard-wired to your home’s electrical system, fresh batteries will keep these life-saving devices running during a power outage.
What other steps do you do to prep your home for fall? Let us know in the comments!