While my wardrobe is ready for the seasonal changeover, my home is not.
Fall is in the air….or so I am told. Here in California, Fall looks suspiciously like summer. It is currently 82 degrees outside. But, I can tell it is Fall because I see Pumpkin Spice Lattes everywhere. Soon enough it will actually feel like Fall and we can finally break out the sweaters and knit hats. While my wardrobe is ready for the seasonal changeover, my home is not.
My home is currently set to summer. In the next month I will be cranking up the forced air heater and stoking my fireplace before you know it. There are a few things that you can do in preparation for Fall to make the transition smoothly.
Here is a list of 4 steps that you can take to make sure that your home is ready for Fall.
I have vivid memories of my Dad cursing this job every year. Cleaning out the gutters is no fun no matter how much your parents might have offered to pay you. It is even less fun if you have to clean them out on your own home. In fact, the only thing less fun is having your clogged gutters ruin your home value! Experts recommend people cleaning their gutters in the fall when all of their leaves are down or almost down.
Some of the many benefits of gutter cleaning include:
- prevent water damage to your home
- avoid nesting areas for termites, birds, mosquitoes, and other insects
- prevent destruction of expensive landscaping
- maintain value and beauty of your home
2. HVAC Filters
We haven’t touched our heating system in our house for at least 6 month. When you purchase a filter, it should have a recommended time when it’ll need to be replaced. Some need to be changed monthly, while others can last up to six months. Chances are that you need to replace it soon.
Other factors to consider:
If you have anyone who suffers from allergies, you should be changing the filters more often than recommended. This will help remove more of the allergens from the air in your home.
Are there pets in your house?
The majority of cats and dogs shed, and their hair gets everywhere. That includes your filters, which will alter the performance of your heating and cooling system.
Depending on the seasons, you may need to change the filter more frequently. Animals shed more in hotter months, so keep that in mind when it comes to checking your filters.
Do you care about saving money?
The U.S. Department of Energy says that replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 10 %.
3. Sprinkler and Drip Systems
As summer turns to fall, it is important to turn down the amount of water you are providing your lawn and garden with automatic irrigation. Too much irrigation water can damage lawns and over water plants and trees, especially if the rainy season has started.
Plants, trees and grasses need less water during the shorter fall and winter days for a couple of reasons.
- They lose less moisture through evapo-transpiration — the process in which plants pull up water through their roots and lose it through evaporation from leaves
- Many plants also go dormant, which also reduces their need for water.
- Supersaturated soil can drown plants. It can also encourage molds and fungi that can kill plants.
Use this opportunity to slack on your lawn mowing duties as well. Go an extra week and let your lawn grow a bit. Grass grows slower in the fall and winter so it does not need the same attention. The longer grass will retain the moisture better and help lower your water bill as well!
4. Gas fireplaces
If you have a traditional wood burning fireplace, chances are that you are a pro at fireplace maintenance. Traditional fireplaces require a lot more upkeep and maintenance but are definitely worth it. But, if you have a gas fireplace? Surprise! They need annual love too.
Dust, dirt, and spiders can all clog up the burner ports of your gas fireplace causing the unit to burn inefficiently or, worse yet, not at all. Loose or dirty wire connections can also affect the unit. Gaskets wear out and can allow carbon monoxide to leak into your home. An annual inspection before cozy fireplace season will prevent these problems.
I am ready to trade my lemonade in for a nice mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows. I just need Mother Nature to cooperate with me. In the mean time, I have this short list of minor maintenance to get my home ready for Fall.
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