Today marks the official end of summer and beginning of fall. While you may be ready to start whipping out the scented candles, sweaters and pumpkins, there are quite a few more practical things to consider to make sure your home is ready for the chilly new season. Here are ten tips for preparing your home for the fall and transition into winter.
1. Check for Drafts
Heat loss throughout your home can really rack up energy costs throughout the fall and winter. Check for drafts around your windows and doors and seal any air leaks with weatherstripping or caulk. Weatherstripping is a simple and cost-effective way to keep things warm and cozy in your home and keep heating costs down.
2. Get a Smart Thermostat
Speaking of keeping things cozy, there’s no time like the present to finally upgrade your thermostat to a smart, programmable system. Rather than keeping the heat on full blast 24/7, you can program a smart thermostat to run on a schedule, adjusting when the house is empty, or when everyone is asleep. Then, you can control is remotely to make sure things are just right when you arrive home.
3. Inspect the fireplace
Before you start gathering ‘round the cozy fire, you’ll want to get a professional inspection done to check your fireplace and chimney for any hazardous buildup and blockages.
4. Inspect the furnace
This is another that we recommend letting a pro handle, but if you’re going for it yourself, you’ll want to start with inspecting the filter and replacing it if it’s dirty. This simple tip will go a long way, as a dirty filter can restrict airflow and cause the furnace to overheat. Test the furnace out to make sure it’s working correctly without shutting off prematurely.
5. Clean out the gutters
In anticipation of all the leaves that are sure to be piling up on and around your home, you’ll want to clear out your gutters and ensure they don’t become clogged up. This can help prevent roof damage and/or indoor leaks.
6. Inspect your roof
Grab your binoculars and look closely for any missing or damaged shingles. Chances are, your roof saw lots of rain and wind over the summer. If you’ve got any leaks (no matter how minor they seem), you’ll want to take care of them before winter temperatures and winds make the problem worse and even disastrous.
7. Test your detectors
You should test out your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly, but this will be especially timely as you may be using your fireplace and heater more.
Bonus tip: Always keep a stash of batteries handy in case you need to replace them in your detectors, but also in case of emergency. You may need them for flashlights and other devices.
8. Test your generator
You’ll definitely want to do this now before winter hits. In the event of a bad snowstorm, or a simple power outage when it’s freezing, you’d hate to realize that your generator isn’t running when you need it most. For gas-powered generators, make sure you have enough fuel on standby.
9. Trim your landscaping
Cut back on any shrubs, trees, etc. that may have become overgrown over the summer. Remove any dead or decaying tree branches, especially those in danger of falling onto your roof. Not only does all this pruning promote growth, but it can help improve visibility throughout your yard so that you can easily scan around your house through your security cameras.
10. Replace driveway and walkway cracks
Do an inspection to find any cracks on concrete walkways, steps, and your driveway. When the temperatures drop, cracks can become worse as water fills them, freezes, and expands. Patch them up to prevent any accidents or worse damage.
Ready to upgrade your home?
Many of our Fall Prep tips are pretty simple and low-tech. But if you’re interested in adding on smart lights, improving your home security before the holidays, and more, we can help! Reach out to us at 678-566-2640 or firstname.lastname@example.org and a Phoenix Rep will be happy to discuss your smart home needs and options!