Fall is a busy season for homeowners who are preparing for winter. It is also a period of cool weather that is great for handling exterior work on a home. The right steps can help to prevent expensive damage during the winter and may save you money as well. Below is a look at some home maintenance tips for the fall that will keep your home in good shape through the winter.
Weatherstrip Windows and Doors
Any gaps around windows and doors that are larger than 1/8 inch should be sealed. Sealing can cut your heating bill by as much as 15 percent. According to This Old House, foam tape can be placed into the bottom of sashes and applied at the tops and sides of doors. Consider installing door sweeps for even better protection from drafts.
Clean and Adjust Gutters
Autumn’s falling leaves can clog your gutters. Along with damage to the gutters, this can lead to roof leaks, flooding and other serious problems. Fall provides the perfect weather to deal with the tedious task of gutter-cleaning. Also important is gutter maintenance. The pitch of your gutter can cause an overflow that is another potential cause of leaks and flooding. Make sure that your gutter is sloped appropriately so as to direct water out the downspout.
Care for Your Landscaping
You need to take care of your lawn before winter sets in even if it appears that it has stopped growing. What is happening beneath the surface is that the roots are growing down into the earth as the grass prepares itself to last through the winter. This is an excellent time to provide it with some fertilizer and to reseed. Trim any trees growing close to power lines or your roof as they could cause damage when weighed down by snow and ice in winter.
Store Your Lawnmower Properly
For starters, add fuel stabilizer to the tank to prevent the deterioration of the gas. Gas can cause damage to your engine if it is not stabilized. Before storing the lawnmower, add an ounce of the stabilizer for every 2.5 gallons of gas and run the engine to ensure that the gas reaches the carburetor. Five minutes should be enough time.
Maintain Your Furnace
No matter what type of furnace you have, you probably don’t want to be dealing with repairs in the dead of winter. Take care of basic maintenance such as replacing the oil filter if you have an oil-fueled system. It is a good idea to change your air filter at this time as well. While you are changing the air filter, you should clean the blower assembly, which is the next part after the air filter.
Vacuum Your Registers and Ducts
Fall is a good time to get your registers and ducts clean. In the winter, all the air you breathe within your home will come through the ducts and registers. Naturally, you will want the fewest possible particles in it that you can get. If you have pets, the ducts and registers will be where a significant amount of hair and dander winds up. It is also where a lot of household dust goes. Cleaning these components this allows you to breathe cleaner air while also keeping your HVAC system efficient.
The cold weather will be here sooner than you think. The tips above can improve your home’s comfort in the winter months and save you money as well.