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Your guide to preparing your home for fall

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Cooler temperatures, crisper air and shorter days mean one thing – fall is on the horizon. It may seem that summer has come and gone, but these signs all point to the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming season. Follow the tips in this handy checklist for getting your home fall-ready:

 

Exterior

  1. Inspect your roof. Summer heat and storms may have caused some damage to your roof, so grab a pair of binoculars and give it a good checkup. Keep your eyes peeled for any buckling, missing or loose shingles, sagging and aging anywhere on the roof, and check for moss or algae, which could point to water damage. Grab a ladder and check for damage to the flashing and clean off leaves or debris that may have accumulated.
  2. Get those gutters. Gather a ladder, garden hose and gutter cleaning equipment and clean your gutters to avoid clogging, which can cause damage to the exterior and interior of your home. Clean any parts of a metal gutter that may have rust or corrosion with metal primer. Lastly, during the next rainstorm, keep an eye out for any leaks (which can be repaired with gutter sealant).
  3. Clean your chimney and fireplace. While you may be tempted to tackle the job of cleaning your chimney on your own, enlist the services of a professional to provide this service. However, one job you can handle on your own is cleaning out ash and charred wood inside of your fireplace.
  4. Check your siding. The quality of your siding can have an effect on your fall heating bill, as well as the overall aesthetic of the home. Inspect your siding to make sure it is void of any holes, cracks or rotting.

 

Interior

  1. Check your heating. You may be looking forward to not using your air conditioning as much, but now is the time to make sure that your home’s heating is in optimal condition. Dust all of your heating vents and make sure they are not blocked by any furniture or carpeting.  Hire an HVAC professional to make sure your furnace is working properly. Don’t forget to change the air filter, too!
  2. Eliminate drafts. Make sure that air is not able to seep into doors or windows around your home. One way to test this is to light a candle and see if it flickers. If so, a draft is present. This can be remedied with window or door caulking and seal replacement. Because it lowers your dependence on heating, this is a great way to save energy in your home, as well.
  3. Check your home’s safety devices. The transition to fall is an optimal time to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
  4. Clean your humidifiers. Replace dirty filters in your home’s humidifier, as they can spread dust and mold inside of your home. If your humidifier could use a good cleaning, remove its water tank, pour enough white vinegar in the base of your humidifier to cover the entire tank, let it sit for 30 minutes, and use a small brush to get rid of any buildup. After this, let the tank dry and replace into the humidifier.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Davidson