There’s no denying that fall is here. The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are cooler, and there is plenty of pumpkin spice to sweeten your favorite coffee. Early autumn is often a good time to consider how to prepare your home for the harsher weather of late fall and winter. Here are some ways to ensure your home is ready when the mercury drops.
Clean gutters – clear any leaves or other debris from your gutters to make sure your eaves are prepared to withstand winter’s wind and rain.
Trim back trees, bushes, and plants – autumn is a great time to prune back bushes and tree limbs from the exterior of your home. Making sure there is enough space between your landscaping and your home’s exterior can help reduce the risk of damage to your home from windstorms and wild fires. In many cases it’s often good for the health of the plant as well!
Cover outside faucets – if you live in a climate where temperatures can dip below freezing, be sure to turn off your outside faucets and cover them before the first heavy frost. You can purchase covers from your local hardware store, or if you are in a pinch, you can use an old t-shirt and a plastic bag. Covering your faucets prevents your pipes from bursting.
Rake any fallen leaves – ensure your lawn stays healthy through the winter by raking up and removing any fallen leaves. If your yard space allows, fallen leaves could provide a start to a compost pile as they decompose!
Cover or store outdoor furniture – protect your outside furniture, barbeques, fire pits, and outdoor toys from stormy weather by either covering them or, if you have the space, moving them into storage for the cooler months.
Consider planting spring bulbs – fall is a great time to plant springtime flowers like tulips and daffodils.
Change out air filters and clean your vents – in even the cleanest homes, dust and dirt build up overtime. Ensure the air you’re breathing inside is as healthy as possible by cleaning your vents and swapping out your air filters. (Hint – you can use your vacuum attachments to remove dust and dirt from hard to reach ceiling vents.)
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries – fall is a great time of year to check safety devices like your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are in working order. You may also considering checking your fire extinguisher to ensure it hasn’t expired. Remember to never use propane heaters or stoves indoors.
Check furnace – make sure that the area around your furnace and vents are clear before your heat kicks on. You may consider having your furnace serviced as well.
Consider having flashlights and extra batteries handy – if your flashlights have been used for camping and backyard bonfires this summer you may want to find a place to store them so that they can be easily accessed should you lose power. Convenient storage places include an entryway closet, the kitchen pantry, a nightstand drawer, or under a bathroom sink.
Make it fun! Each season offers its own reasons to celebrate. It can be fun to find ways to include the beauty of fall inside and outside your home. As you prepare your home for cooler temperatures you may also want to take some time to decorate your home with fall touches as a way to celebrate the change in season. Carved pumpkins and chrysanthemums make for cheerful porch décor while mini pumpkins and a warm colors bring the feel of fall indoors.