Now that the kids are back in school, it’s time to think about preparing your home for fall and winter. Over the years, I’ve learned the hard way not to put them off. Trust me, you do not want to discover at 6 o’clock in the morning that you forgot to turn off your outside water and, thanks to freezing temperatures, your hose has burst and is turning your patio into an ice skating rink. Or you decide to spend the evening in front of a crackling fire then wind up filling your home with smelly, dark smoke because there is a blockage in your chimney. So, with autumn just around the corner, now is a good time to start preparing your home for fall. By taking time and spreading these tasks over the next few weeks, you’ll ensure your home is ready for cooler weather when it happens. Don’t do as I’ve done in years past and tell yourself there’s plenty of time because Mother Nature has been a bit unpredictable recently.
1 Fertilize Your Lawn
Fertilizing your lawn in fall will protect it over the winter and help it green up faster come springtime. Dosing your lawn with fertilizer in autumn will trigger the renewed growth of both blades and roots, so your lawn will be thick and healthy again before winter’s colder temperatures set in.
2. Get Your HVAC Serviced
Your AC has been running all summer long, and now it needs a break. Before it gets cold and you have to start using your heat for the winter, be sure to clean the coils first. You can find many do it yourself videos on YouTube videos showing how to do this safely. Once clean and dry, cover the AC unit to keep debris and ice from damaging your system. Then move indoors and switch your thermostat from cooling to heating, and be sure to change the filter. It is always a good idea to change your filters regularly. You should also take a walk around your home to make sure all vents are uncovered, and maybe clean the air ducts.
3. Clean Your Gutters
My husband and I hated cleaning the gutters so, we learned not to skip it when our clogged gutters channeled water down the side of our home where it could eventually damaged the foundation, and destroy our landscaping.
All you have to do is get a ladder and get someone to help you. One person holds the ladder and watches as the other clean the debris. If you have a one-story house, you can even use this leaf-blower attachment. Still too much work? Hire a gutter cleaning company — they’re worth it.
4. Drain And Store Your Lawn Equipment
When you have mowed your lawn for the last time for the season — usually around mid-October — it is recommended that you drain the tanks of your lawn mower, leaf blower, and weed eater.
Fall is also a good time to check your lawn equipment so they’ll be ready for next Spring.
5. Turn Off And Drain Outdoor Faucets And Sprinklers
Disconnect, drain and store your hoses, turn off the outdoor water supply, and then open faucets and run your sprinkler system to drain them of water. It’s that easy. Once drained, you can take steps to prevent frozen pipes.
6. Inspect And Clean Your Chimney
There’s nothing charming about filling your home with soot, smoke, and carbon monoxide because you haven’t had your chimney cleaned. It is also the perfect time to stock up and store firewood if you have a wood burning fireplace. This will help to ensure that you don't run out and have to scramble to find firewood just before a snowfall.
Even gas fireplaces need their chimneys cleaned and inspected to ensure there are no bird or squirrel nests blocking the flue, and that the chimney pipe is free of cracks that can allow smoke to enter your home. This job is best left to pros, and the cost runs around $100-200.
7. Get Your Ice Melt And Snow Blower Ready
Even though we know it’s going to happen, it’s as if people don’t think about snow at all until the weather forecast mentions it. By then, it’s often too late to find snow gear sold out until the stores replenish their supplies.
That’s why it’s smart to stock up on such things in autumn when they’re plentiful and, generally more affordable. Even if you think you’ve got enough left from last year, or that your snow blower or shovel are in good shape, it is a good idea to check your supply and make sure that everything works so you don’t get caught out in the cold finding out you’re wrong.
Author:Liz Abrams Phone: 757-644-3800 Dated: September 21st 2018 Views: 232 About Liz: Liz Abrams is co-founder and CEO of Abrams Realty. She and her Husband, Jim, Abrams, own and manage ...
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