The changing leaves, crisp autumn air, and beginning of another school year are all things we look forward to at the start of the fall season. As summer comes to an end, it’s time to prepare our homes for the colder months ahead. We often associate home maintenance with the months following winter but being proactive can reduce the amount of work you do in the spring.
Here are some simple and easy home maintenance tips to kick-start the fall season:
Inspect the Exterior and Interior for Peeling Paint
Whether it’s outside or inside your home, paint doesn’t last forever and should be updated regularly. Inspecting your home could entail a walk-through or a simple walk around your property looking for any paint chipping, peeling, discoloration or fading.
Drain and Cover your Pool
For those with a pool, it’s important to completely drain and cover it. New York State can encounter harsh winters and you want to ensure your pool is protected.
Inspect Fireplace and Chimneys for Damage or Potential Hazards
Dirty or obstructed chimneys are major causes of house fires. It is recommended to regularly inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney at least once a year. However, it’s best to call in a professional.
Clean Dryer Vents
Another major cause of house fires are clogged lint traps and air ducts. Start cleaning your dryer lint trap after every load of laundry—there’s no better time to start this habit than now!
Winterize Air Conditioning System(s)
Your air conditioning system or home cooling system should also be regularly maintained, although you typically won’t use it during the fall and winter months. Understanding the safety around these systems and preparing them for the winter is crucial!
Clean and Prepare Heating System(s) for Winter
As we put away our air conditioning systems, we transition into requiring a heat source. Depending on the heating system, this maintenance can look different for everyone. Refer to your owner’s manual for more detailed information or call for a professional inspection and cleaning.
Clean and Inspect Windows and Doors
Cleaning and wiping down windows and door screens can increase visibility and remove any weather buildup from the last few months. Additionally, inspecting and adding a protective layer of caulk to window seals could prevent cold air leaks.
Clean and Condition Carpets
Besides a vacuuming weekly, it’s recommended to professionally clean and shampoo your carpets once a year. This keeps your home clean and lengthens the lifespan of your carpet—which can be costly to replace.
Test and Replace Batteries in Emergency Systems
This includes both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Get in the habit of replacing batteries in emergency systems at the same time you adjust your clocks for daylight savings time.
Rake and Gather Leaves from the Backyard and Clean Gutters
As the temperature starts to drop, clearing gutters of leaves and other debris can prevent ice dams from forming. Raking leaves and twigs from your lawn can also save you time in the spring.
Turn off Exterior Faucets and Store Hoses
You don’t want to get caught in a situation with frozen pipes. Make sure to shut off exterior faucets and any unneeded water sources and store hoses and equipment away.
Stock up on Winter Essentials
This can include firewood, a winter safety kit, ice-melt, shovel(s), and anything else you may need ahead of time to prepare for winter.