As summer begins to wind down, it’s time to start thinking about the fall. Not just football season and haunted houses, but getting our homes ready for the transition to the cooler months and possibility for inclement weather ahead. Not only will these tips help keep your home more energy-efficient, but they can also actually keep your home safe and secure.
Lawn and Garden Tool Maintenance
After you’ve given your lawn its last mow of the season, it’s a good time to drain any remaining fuel and give it a good wash. This applies to any other gas-powered lawn equipment you may have used over the summer, too. Leaving gas inside of these machines could break down the mechanics especially after months of not being used. You should also be mindful of your sprinkler systems, drain them if necessary, and any garden hoses, which should be kept indoors during colder months. Hose bibs that are still connected have the potential to burst when the temperatures dip.
Trim Branches, Bushes, and Other Foliage
Spring and summer help the trees and bushes around our homes thrive and grow but during fall and winter it’s important to look for any overhanging tree branches that may pose a threat. If they hang over roof lines they could cause potential damage, not only from inclement weather should they fall, but it creates a foliage bridge for the critters in the trees. As the weather gets colder those critters are going to look for places to keep them warm, like your chimney or attic, so be sure to trim back any overhanging branches near your home. Take a look at your shrubbery and give them a trim if they intrude on walkways or exterior doors. When the seasons change, so does the amount of daylight we have and you want to make sure nothing could potentially be hiding after dark.
Exterior Maintenance and Repairs
Check your weather stripping around doors and windows and replace or repair where necessary. These little open areas can allow cold air in and warm air out which will increase your heating bills. This applies to caulk around windows and doors as well. While you’re checking the seals, also make sure your windows are free of cracks.
Heating System, Fireplace, and Chimney inspection
Did you know that you should have your HVAC system inspected twice a year? Right before you turn your air conditioner on and again right before you turn your heat on. You can also check with your local electric/gas company as some offer programs to check how energy efficient your system is working. This would also be a great time to have your chimney and fireplace checked. Making sure that your flue is opening properly and your chimney is clear of soot can help prevent a potential fire. Another place that should be cleared out periodically is your dryer vent. Get into the habit of clearing out your dryer vent every couple of months to also prevent a fire in your dryer from the built-up lint.
Typically it’s recommended to change out the batteries in our smoke alarms when we adjust our clocks for the time change. The other thing that may need to be swapped out is the smoke alarm itself. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, we should replace our actual smoke alarm every 10 years. The manufacture date can be found on the underside of the smoke alarm. If it is time to replace, you may want to consider some of the newer smart home smoke alarms that work with your Alexa.
Home maintenance is essential to keep your investment looking gorgeous. By taking the time each season to do these necessary steps, you can keep also ensure to keep your home safe and cozy for your family for years to come.