Autumn is upon us! Some of the first things you may think of when you think of fall, are soups, sweaters, and colorful leaves and the threat of snow!
Preparing your home for cooler weather may not top your list, but is important. Here are some things to consider as the temperatures start to cool off.
Clean out gutters and clear outside drains:
Leaves and other gunk can accumulate over the course of the year and if left, it can cause the gutters to clog, which causes the water to overflow. This can cause damage to your home. The gutters and rain spouts are meant to take water away from your home and its foundation. When your gutters overflow it will run down your home and puddle at the foundation. It can cause structural damage as well as cosmetic damage like paint. The weight of wet debris can cause your gutter to detach from your house as well. Cleaning your gutters a couple of times a year will prevent these issues from occurring.
Shut of and drain hose bibs:
If you do not have a freeze proof outdoor faucet you will need to drain it before the temperature reach freezing to prevent your pipes from cracking. You can also insulate it to protect it from the cold temperatures.
Clean fireplace and chimneys:
In wood burning fireplaces creosote can form on the inside of your chimney. Left uncleaned, the chimney will clog causing the smoke to fill your home instead of escaping through the chimney. Cleaning your chimney is more than likely something you will have to hire out. Make sure they are certified and knowledgeable and do a thorough job.
Check furnace and change furnace filters:
We all know we need to periodically change the furnace filter, but we also need to be having yearly inspections to make sure our heating and cooling systems are up to snuff. Without the proper maintenance the system can leak deadly carbon monoxide, be less efficient, or stop working all together. This is another job that is best left in the hands of a professional. But it is less than $100 for the yearly visit and is well worth the peace of mind and the warm cozy house.
Check and seal windows:
What is the point of having a working furnace if all your warm air is leaving through cracks in your home? Check your home for places where warm air might be escaping. Common places are windows, doors, attics, electrical outlets, dryer vents and anywhere pipes enter your home. Caulk, foam sealer, foam gaskets (for electrical outlets), plastic film for windows, weather stripping for around doors, and extra insulation in your attic are some of the ways to fix these leaks.
Rain and snow are not your friend if you have problems with your roof. Have your roof inspected and checked for leaks, missing shingles, rotted areas and make sure the flashing is intact. If any of these are an issue, get it fixed before the moisture does more expensive damage to your home.
Upgrade to programmable thermostat:
If you don't already have one it is great way to save money. If you do have one this is the time to setup your program for the colder months ahead. By using a programmable thermostat you can set the furnace to heat your home when you are in it, and reduce the temperature even if only by a couple degrees during the day when at work, or overnight while your snuggled warmly in bed
Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors:
This should be done more than once a year, but scheduling it in advance on tour calendar will help keep you and your family safe all winter long
Lawn and Garden:
Let’s not forget about your lawn. A fertilizer rich in nitrogen will help your grass recover from the summer stress and help it be its healthiest come spring.