It's that time of year again - the leaves are starting to change, that crisp fall air is moving in and the pumpkins in my garden have turned orange. Besides the cooling of temps and the start of school, fall ushers in a great time to work on some home upkeep items in prep for the cold winter months. Below is a list of 10 Fall Home Maintenance Tips to help you cosy up to the new season.
1. Once those leaves have dropped clean out your rain gutters and down spouts. It's a good time to fix any loose joints or connections too.
2. Change your furnace filter and have your furnace serviced by a licensed HVAC professional. Tuning your furnace each year will help it run more efficiently and may increase it's life span too. If you have a home warranty this is a service that is often covered. You pay only your service fee. Without a home warranty, it's still not very expensive.
3. Caulk or seal around your windows and doors to fill in any cracks. This will keep cold air from finding a way inside during those winter storms. Placing weather stripping in your windows and doors will help too.
4. Check your roof for damaged or loose shingles, corroded flashing or leaky vents and have them fixed.
5. Drain and winterize your outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems to keep the pipes from freezing. Also detach and store your hoses.
6. Get your snow removal gear ready to go. Put your windshield scraper in the car, make sure you have a snow shovel, and, if you have a snow blower, have it serviced.
7. Winterize your garden equipment - clean off tools, service your lawn mower, store everything somewhere dry for the winter.
8. If you plan to utilize a wood burning fireplace during the cold months it's a good idea to have the chimney swept and the damper checked.
9. Change the direction your ceiling fans spin so that they create an updraft and circulate the warm air through the house for more efficiency.
10. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries and change them if needed. A good rule of thumb is to check and change these batteries every time you set your clocks back or ahead.
There you have it, my 10 Tips for Fall Home Maintenance to keep your biggest investment in it's best possible shape.