Yes, lighting pumpkin candles is a crucial part of getting ready for the change of seasons, but there are more important — and not exactly fun — preparations that come with being a homeowner. Consider this everything you need to know before your house transitions from hot summer days to cool fall nights and, eventually, freezing temperatures.
1. Clean, or possibly replace, your gutters.
You’re so used to your gutters working properly — and draining thousands of gallons of water from your roof yearly — that you forget they could use a little TLC. If they’re clogged, you can end up with a flooded interior and damaged exterior. So clean them with a gutter tool or get them professionally done, or if necessary, replace them.
2. Check for drafts.
Heat loss through windows is responsible for 25 to 30% of heating energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But it doesn’t have to be that way, because weatherstripping is simple and probably the most cost-effective way to keep heating costs down.
Pro tip: To check if you have a draft, close a door or window on a strip of paper. If the paper slides easily, you need to update your weatherstripping.
3. Drain your outdoor faucets.
Drain and disconnect all garden hoses from outside spigots to prevent any water from freezing. Not doing this can result in pipes bursting.
4. Bring your outdoor furniture in.
Yes, your furniture is outdoor furniture. No, that does not mean you should test the label by leaving it outside through severe weather, like hurricanes or snowstorms. It cost you money and time to set up that outdoor space, so if you want to get another summer season out of outdoor furniture, you should store it in a garage or shed. If you don’t have anywhere to store the items, you should cover them with waterproof furniture covers.
5. Fix any cracks in your driveway.
When water gets into a crack it freezes and expands and can make the crack even bigger. If enough small cracks turn into big cracks, eventually, the concrete can crumble. Plus, you’d probably prefer a driveway without a giant pothole. So, using concrete crack sealer, fix it and be done with it.
6. Change your filters.
If your filters are clogged, it’s harder to keep your home at the desired temperature, and that will increase your heating bills. Clean these filters monthly, not just before the fall. FYI: Disposable filters can be vacuumed one time before you replace them, and foam filters can just be vacuumed and not replaced.
7. Fertilize your lawn.
You know what they say: The best offense is a good defense. 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. It will also help your lawn turn green faster in the spring.
8. Test winter equipment.
You don’t want to get caught in the middle of a blizzard and find that your snow blower isn’t working and you’re stuck inside and can’t get your car out to buy a new one. Check it all now and make your life easier later.
9. Change your batteries.
You should be checking to make sure all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working. The CDC recommends you test smoke alarms monthly and at least twice a year check or change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector. Since you’re already testing everything else, you might as well test these too.
Check out some awesome autumn-themed ways to decorate this fall in the related video above.
READ MORE:9 things you should do to your home before fall starts
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