You might be ready to break out the hoodies and apple cider, but is your house ready for the changing seasons? Follow this checklist to protect your biggest investment – your home – from the elements.
- Check for cracks or gaps where bugs can find their way into your home
With the season change comes falling temperatures. This means that many species of bugs will be looking for a warm place to stay for the duration. If these creepy crawlies are unwelcome in your home, it’s important to scope out where they may be able to find an entrance. Caulk cracks and gaps, fix loose window and door screens, and eliminate other little spots they may find. As a bonus, this will eliminate drafts and cold air leaks too, helping you save on heating costs.
- Look out for cracks in concrete and brick too
The upcoming freeze and thaw can cause driveways and sidewalks to heave or even bigger cracks in your chimney or foundation. Fill these cracks now so that a little repair doesn’t turn into a huge headache. This may also be a good time to seal your sidewalks and driveway to prevent cracks in the future.
- Fertilize your lawn and plants
Fall is the time to winterize your lawn. Different types of grass may require different fertilizers, so it’s a good idea to figure out what kind of grass you have in your yard before going to purchase a fertilizer. Some plants may also need to be winterized, like roses and geraniums. By giving them a little attention now, you’ll have a green and luscious yard come springtime.
- Clean and protect your gutters
It is essential important to clean your gutters in the fall to eliminate the leaves and pine needles that have fallen. If you ignore these clogs, you may find yourself with broken gutters or foundation problems. By installing gutter protection, you can prevent these clogs from happening in the future, and save yourself a headache next fall when those pesky leaves come down again.
- Replace furnace filters
Regularly replacing your air filters is always a good idea, especially if you have pets. A new filter before the cold weather hits will help your heating system run more efficiently, and may even reduce your utility bill.
- Stock up on the winter essentials
By stocking up on rock salt, de-icing windshield fluid, shovels, and other winter essentials now, you can avoid the risk of stores running out of these items when you (and everyone else) most need them. As an added bonus, you may also find better bargains since it’s still considered off-season.
- Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you flip your clocks back
Sure, most clocks are digital these days, but you might still have a few stragglers that need to be manually changed. It is also extremely important to test out your detectors and change batteries, so why not pair these tasks together so you remember to do both? Closing your house up like a drum for the winter and starting fires in your fireplace make these detectors literal lifesavers if you get a carbon monoxide leak or a spark falls into your wood pile by accident.
Following this checklist will help you save money, prevent headaches, and have a fun fall this year.