While some of us are squeezing the last bit of summer out of these next few weeks, others are counting down the days until the crisp, cool weather begins. Love or hate fall, now is a great time to prepare your home for the change in seasons.
If you’re looking for a little guidance for getting your home ready for the autumn weather, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a checklist of things you’ll want to do in order to be 100% ready for the next few months.
Schedule a chimney cleaning
Now is the ideal time to have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional. Making sure it’s cleaned, maintained, and in working order before turning on the heat is an important safety measure. Give your chimney the love it deserves, because it’ll be working overtime when the temperature starts to drop!
Stock up on firewood
Speaking of chimneys, now is a great time to start your firewood pile. Order enough firewood to last through winter. If you gather it yourself, make sure the wood is dry. It’s best to cover firewood and store at least 15 feet away from the house to help reduce the risk of a termite infestation.
Check the furnace & boiler
Whether you have a furnace or a boiler, it’s a good idea to make sure everything will run smoothly this fall when temperatures drop. It’s a good idea to get it inspected and be sure to change the filters on a furnace regularly throughout the fall and winter to help keep energy costs down.
Store air conditioners
Removable window air conditioners should be removed and dusted/cleaned. Be sure to properly store A/C units according to the manufacturer’s instructions before temps drop in order to protect the unit and help keep cooler outside air from getting in.
Put up storm windows
If you have removable screens, now is the perfect time to clean, store, and replace them with storm windows.
Plant Fall Bulbs for Spring Flowers
If you plant bulbs for spring, now’s the time to get them in the ground before the ground freezes. There are a variety of flowers to plant in the fall that will bloom in the spring. Some bulbs to consider: tulip, iris, daffodil, hyacinth and lily.
Close the pool
If you have a pool, schedule a service to come and close it for the season. Alternatively, if you know how, buy the supplies and do it yourself.
Put away seasonal furniture
Your outdoor furniture needs a little TLC to get ready for colder weather. Remove and clean outdoor cushions with a mild soap. Wash and dry furniture and store in a dry place over winter. Proper storage will save you on buying new outdoor furniture after a cold winter.
Stock up on Fall & Winter Tools
Now is the perfect time to rummage through your shed or garage and get all your fall and winter tools in an easily accessible location. Have all the necessary leaf removal tools on hand before the leaves start to fall. Check the condition of snow shovels and ice scrapers and replace as needed. Pick up a bag of pet/plant-safe ice melt before they sell out when winter comes.
Clear out the gutters
Remove leaves and other debris from your gutters and downspouts to prevent clogging. Remove leaves, nests, and debris from gutters and check for leaks. Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.
Check for drafts
Stay warm, save energy, and reduce your heating bills this fall by examining the edges of doors and windows for drafts. If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and door frames. Consider buying heavier or insulated drapery for particularly drafty windows. This Old House has budget-friendly tips for fixing drafts.
Seal gaps where critters could enter
Mice only need a hole the size of a nickel to be able to sneak into your house. With colder weather coming, rodents out there will be looking for warm places to stay. Fill small holes and cover any larger gaps securely with hardware cloth to keep the wildlife outdoors. Also consider installing a chimney cap to keep out birds, bats, and squirrels.
If you need help moving into your new home before making these preparations, give Sitterly Movers a call.