The leaves are changing, daylight hours are dwindling and the chill of fall is in the air. Now is the time (before it gets too cold or snow begins to fly) to make sure your home is ready for the coming winter months. Below are five fall projects you can do now to prepare for the months to come.
Check your furnace. This is the first item on our list because, if you haven’t already, you need to make sure your furnace is ready before you need to crank up the heat. You should do more than simply turn it on to make sure it’s working. If nothing else, check, change or clean your filter. If you haven’t checked it recently (or ever) you might be surprised how much your filter collects. Cleaning or changing the filter will help your furnace run more efficiently and it is something anyone can do. Have your furnace checked and tuned up by a professional. This is often overlooked. After all, if it ain’t broke… Like the filter, a tune up will help ensure your furnace is running efficiently and could save you money on your overall energy bill.
Insulation. You probably haven’t climbed around in your attic lately (or ever), but even if you have you probably haven’t paid attention to the insulation there. Many companies specialize in improving your home’s insulation. They offer low or no cost services (based on rebates and incentives from energy companies and taxes). Even if there is a cost involved, the initial investment will likely save you money in the long run.
Yard clean up and preparation. The change in season means your yard is likely covered in leaves even if you don’t actually have any trees. It is important to make sure your lawn is clear of leaves before the snow falls on top of them. Now is also a great time to give your lawn a final trim. It’s a good idea to cut the grass a little shorter than you normally do in preparation for the snowfall. Once you get the grass cut, it’s also a great time to add fertilizer. This will give your lawn an added boost in the spring to help it return to its healthy green brilliance you worked so hard for all summer.
Hang your Christmas lights. While the weather is still fairly mild, why not get out the ladder and put up your lights? While it may be a little early to turn them on, and a few of your neighbors may wonder what you’re doing, but you’ll be the one smiling when they are out in beanies, coats, and gloves putting their lights on in the cold December weather.
Clean your gutters. While you have the ladder out hanging your lights make sure to clean out your gutters. The falling leaves don’t just collect on your lawn. Your rain gutters are likely full of leaves. It is critical you try to keep them clean before it begins to snow. Once it begins to snow and melt, if your gutters are full of leaves they won’t drain. The water and leaves will freeze overnight and this process will repeat throughout the winter and can fill your gutters with ice that can damage and destroy your rain gutters. Making sure they are clean before it begins to snow will help you avoid a potentially costly repair in the spring.
Looking for more Fall projects? Here are five more suggestions.