The upcoming arrival of fall represents many things to many different people. For children it means apple picking, hayrides, and trick-or-treating. For men it means the NFL – enough said. For women it means seasonal delicacies, new styles, and tall boots. Fall also means the return of seasonal favorites, family traditions, and spending time with loved ones.
Though it may be sad to bid farewell to the lazy days of summer, there’s simply something indescribably magical about fall, as Mother Nature paints a beautiful picture for all of us to enjoy. Fall’s arrival also signifies the approach of winter, which isn’t far behind. Here are a few projects to get your home ready for the coming cold.
- Maintain your electrical system
Fall is a good time to have your electrical system inspected by a certified electrician to make sure it’s working properly and that no shortages exist. Shorts in wiring and related equipment account for 63% of all home structure fires from 2007 to 2011, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
- Periodically test smoke alarms
Working smoke alarms save lives! Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested at least once a month, and batteries should be replaced every six months, to ensure proper function. One of the best ways to remember to change your batteries is when you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time.
- Tune up your furnace
Make sure your heating system will get your through the winter months by scheduling an annual furnace tune-up. If you haven’t already, you should consider replacing an outdated thermostat, with a programmable or smart thermostat. Replace your air filter for increased energy and monetary savings.
- Clean out gutters and downspouts
Fall foliage is beautiful – there’s no doubting that – but not so much when it builds up in your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up against the house potentially damaging your home’s roof, siding, and trim. Clogged gutters can also help create damaging ice dams.
- Seal up air leaks
A home with air leaks around windows and doors can account for up to 10% of your heating bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Weather-stripping and caulking materials are easily the most cost-effective methods for sealing off air leaks. It’s a project that rewards you throughout the year; not just during the winter months.