As summer nears its end, and the warmer days left in the season are numbered, make your life easier by taking care of some end-of-summer maintenance tasks before colder air rolls in. Some tasks are an absolute must for home owners in colder climates, while others will just make your life easier:
- Test your heating system - It is recommended that you have your furnace inspected and serviced once a year. Now is the right time for that. You don't want to flip the switch on the first cold day of the season only to find you have an ailing furnace that requires repair. Replacing your furnace filter should also be done and is something you can take care of on your own. If its been a few months since it was last replaced, it is probably due. You can find out your filter size by looking at the old one in the furnace. You will want to make sure you write this information down before you head out to purchase a new one as there are many different sizes.
- Clean your fireplace - If you plan on using your fireplace during the cooler months, now is the perfect time to make sure your fireplace and chimney are clean and free of any debris or build-up. If you aren't up to the task, or your fireplace is in major need of a cleaning, hire a professional to come in and get the job done.
- Clear your gutters - Gutters may become clogged with dirt, old leaves, or sprouting plants throughout the course of the spring and summer. Sprouts occur when, for example, trees drop acorns into the gutters and then they get lots of rain and sunshine over the summer. If you have lots of trees on your property that dump leaves all over your roof, you might consider installing gutter guards if you don't already have them. They are easy to install, won't break your bank, and will effectively keep out large debris, saving you the trouble of cleaning them out annually.
- Replace Screens with Storm Windows - Installing storm windows can actually increase the heating efficiency of your home by blocking air flow in and out of your existing windows. You may want to hold off on doing this until the temperature really starts to drop. Early fall is a great time to leave the windows open through out the house and enjoy the cool breeze running through. Just don't wait too long or you'll be stuck replacing them in the cold.
- Interior Painting - If you have plans to paint the interior of your home in the near future, consider doing it sooner rather than later. Since open windows are essential to properly ventilating a home after its been painted, it is a good idea to paint during milder weather. You don't want to be stuck making the choice between freezing with your windows open and breathing in noxious paint fumes.
- Tree Maintenance - If you have fruit trees in your yard it is important to the tree's health that any fruit that has fallen to the ground be picked up before it rots. Rotting fruit at the base of a tree can contribute to a number of diseases that could affect the trees overall health. A little time spent picking up fallen fruit can save you the cost of replacing a dying tree a few years down the road.