As the season changes we tend to clean out our closet but it's also a good time to check home maintenance. See these 12 ways to get your home ready for fall for some ideas.
For the past several years Mr. Savvy and I have lived in a rental community where we didn't have to really worry about outside and seasonal maintenance. Earlier this year, we finally moved into a single family home, something I've been wanting to do for years! With that said, even though we're renting, we're now responsible for a lot more maintenance. So, I decided to make a list of ways to get your home ready for fall.
1. Make sure all your exterior doors and windows are properly sealed. In most areas, the weather starts cooling down during the fall. Unless you like living in a drafty cold house, it's a good idea to make sure all your exterior doors and windows are properly sealed. It's amazing how much of a difference it can make in the temperature of your home and your electric or gas bill! You may need window caulk or door draft guards. We also use these blackout curtains on most of our windows. They are very nice for the price blocking out the light and heat during the summer and providing an extra layer from the cold in the colder months, but not so expensive that we mind replacing them after a few years if the cats make holes in them.
Blackout window curtains are not only great for keeping the light out in your media room but also the cold and heat.
2. Change your air filters. If the weather where you live was anything like it was here this summer, you used the heck out of your AC. While you should regularly change your air filters anyway, changing air filters with the seasonal changes is a great habit. Not only will your family be breathing healthier air, but your heating system should also run more efficiently.
3. Have any heating systems cleaned and inspected. Speaking of heating systems, you may also want to get yours cleaned and inspected. Then you know for sure that they are working properly, efficiently, and have no leaks.
4. Change your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries. As the weather gets colder, the more likely we are to use a gas furnace or fire place. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries as stuff happens and you may not even be able to tell!
5. Clean your gutters. Ahh, the fall leaves are so beautiful...but they are also a mess for your gutters. So, before the leaves start falling, you may want to go ahead and clean your gutters, especially if fall is a wet season for your area. We tend to have a lot of summer storms so it's not uncommon to find a surprising amount of leaves and twigs in the gutters.
6. Store hoses and properly insulate exterior faucets. Do temperatures get down below freezing in your area during fall? If so, make sure you store any water houses you have outside (be sure to drain them thoroughly), along with insulating the exterior faucets. These insulated faucet covers come in handy. Pipes bursting is not my idea of fun!
7. Put away seasonal furniture and other items. While some furniture, grills and other outdoor items may be able to survive through the fall and winter, it does usually shorten their lifetime.
8. Check roofing for any damage or missing shingles. No one wants to be up on the roof for repairs when it's cold, windy, and possibly icy.
9. Check outdoor lighting. With the time change, it's often dark outside by the time you get home. Check and make sure any outdoor lighting still works to keep you and your family safe.
I love these solar powered lights that help light up our walkways when it gets dark!
10. Make sure you service and/or have all the cold weather equipment you need. With Mother Nature being all sorts of crazy lately, you never know when we might have a freak snow storm! Make sure you have the basics you need for cold weather now to be prepared for later like snow shovels, snow blowers, tire chains, ice melt, ice scrapers, etc. Here in the south if there's a hint of snow in the forecast these products sell out quickly.
11. Thoroughly clean the lint trap in your dryer. During the winter, we usually have to do more laundry because of bulkier, layered clothing. That's why it's a great time to thoroughly clean the lint trap in your dryer. Did you know that your improperly cleaned dryer can even catch on fire? You may even want to invest in a dryer cleaner set.
12. Consider getting a hot water heater blanket. If your hot water heater is in your unheated garage or other area, you may want to consider investing in a hot water heater blanket. This will keep the water warmer longer naturally, using less energy.