The evenings are becoming longer and more brisk, leaves are changing colors and flocks of migrating birds are making their way to warmer havens. Autumn is definitely here and it’s time to prepare your home for the changing seasons. Here are 7 tasks you’ll want to button up before the chill of winter arrives.
Furnace inspections are harder to schedule and repairs can be more expensive as the temperature drops. Ensuring that your furnace is operating safely and efficiently should be at the top of your to-do list.
Clean your chimney if you use a wood burning stove or fireplace. Hiring a professional chimney sweep every fall will result in a more efficient draft and will dramatically reduce the chance of a chimney or house fire.
Windows and doors can leak air resulting in significant heat and energy loss during the winter months. Finding air leaks isn’t as difficult as it may sound: using a lit candle – and taking caution to avoid flammable curtains or drapes – watch the flame for a flicker near window and door seams. Seal any leaks with caulk, expanding foam or weather stripping.
Trees on your property will be easier to inspect once the leaves have fallen. Check and trim any branches that appear weak or hang too close to your roof. Also check around power lines and notify your electric power provider of any potential trouble spots. (Warning: don’t trim around power lines yourself)
Gutters and downspouts need to be kept clean to avoid costly water damage. Dirt and leaves can clog gutters leaving rain or melting snow nowhere else to go but inside your house. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear and drain properly. You may also want to consider attaching an extension to the bottom of your downspouts so that water drains at least 10 feet from your home’s foundation.
Garden hoses can rupture if water is trapped inside and freezes. Remove hoses and coil them free of kinks for storage in a garage or shed. Avoid hanging the coiled hose on a nail as this can cause kinking or other damage.
Outdoor furniture is typically weather resistant, but usually only against the lighter elements. Even the best furniture can only handle so much and a harsh winter can really take a toll on appearance and functionality. If you don’t have a place to store patio furniture out of the weather, make sure to protect them with a heavy-duty weatherproof covering.