Pumpkin spice is in the air, and it won’t be long before the leaves start to change colors. The perfect time of year to take on home project is when the weather is mild, which means it’s time now to start getting your home ready for the winter ahead.
Think About Windows
About to dig out your heavy drapers for colder months? You might want to reconsider. Closed blinds and even blackout curtains can be a great help at keeping your home cool during the summer months – so consider the opposite for the winter. Lightweight and sheer curtains are great in fall and winter because they allow in sunlight and help naturally heat your home. Want the best of both worlds? Keep sheers pulled for a touch of privacy, but pull back the thicker drapes during the day to let the sunshine in.
Cover (or Clear Away) Patio Stuff
Wind, snow, ice and cold can take a toll on outdoor items – even high-quality stuff. Pack up cushions, store away good patio furniture or pool equipment in the garage or shed, disconnect the garden hose and invest in a good, quality, waterproof grill cover. If you don’t have extra space to store outdoor items, at least take care to make sure they’re covered and protected from the elements, or you might find yourself shopping for new items come spring.
Take Care of the Yard
Just because summer is ending doesn’t mean the yard work does. Keep mowing, weeding, raking and even watering (when needed) until the ground gets too cold. Mulch plants, and even consider planting for spring while the ground is still warm. (Need additional tips? Check out our fall outdoor to-do list.)
Clean the Gutters
Haven’t thought about your gutters since last fall? Clogged gutters can be a danger to your home, so make sure to get them cleaned out now. Gutters that are free from leaves and debris will allow rain and snow to flow freely and will be less likely to cause drainage issues.
Check the Heater & Chimney
The idea of turning on the heater might make you break out in a sweat while it’s still warm … but you definitely don’t want to learn that it’s broken when you really need it! Try to get an appointment to have your heating system checked during the month of October to make sure you’re all set come snuggle season.
If your house has a working fireplace that you plan on using in the winter, now is also the time to schedule a chimney inspection and cleaning for safe use come colder months.
Look for Leaks
Has your electric bill gone up dramatically year over year? You could have an air leak that’s costing you big time. The most significant air leaks tend to occur around windows and doors. If you’ve noticed one, it’s just a matter of adding caulking and weather stripping – which can save you big time!
Now’s also the time to check for water leaks. If you’ve noticed your water bill significantly increasing (and you can’t account for extra water usage), you may have a dripping shower head, a running toilet, or a problem with your hot water heater. Get the plumber in now!