The days are getting shorter, the air is turning crisper, and the leaves are falling. It can only mean one thing: fall has arrived! While there's a lot of work to do outside, if you're like me you probably prefer not to spend too much time outside in the cold. That's why it's important to get these tasks done now so that when cooler weather arrives (and it will!), your home will be ready for it.
1. Test your heater
Test your heater. Before turning on your heat, it's important to make sure that your unit is in good working order. You don't want to be left without heat come winter if there are problems with the system. To test this, turn on the heater and make sure it works properly by checking:
The thermostat setting
The fan speed
Air vents are clear and open (if applicable)
2. Have your chimney cleaned
It is a common misconception that the fireplace is where you should burn your dry leaves, but it’s actually the chimney that needs to be cleaned. After all, it’s not uncommon for leaves and twigs to block the flue and result in a fire.
In fact, chimney fires are one of the most frequent causes of house fires during autumn!
If you want to avoid having your home catch on fire, have your chimney professionally cleaned by an expert once a year.
3. Perform regular maintenance on your fireplace.
Do you have a fireplace? If so, it’s important to perform regular maintenance on it. Although most people think of having their chimney swept and inspected only during the fall months, there are many other things you can do to ensure that your fireplace is clean and safe for use throughout the year.
The first thing you should do is call a professional to inspect your fireplace. They will examine the flue and chimney for cracks or damage, check for any signs of moisture in the bricks or mortar, look for any signs that birds may have built nests inside (which could cause a fire hazard), and make sure nothing is blocking access to air vents. They will also be able to tell if any repairs are necessary before they go up into your roof.
After this inspection has been completed by a certified professional—or even better yet, before winter sets in!—you should clean out all ashes from your hearth area so that no embers remain behind when temperatures drop below freezing outside (this can cause ice buildup where someone might knock into it while walking through). Make sure not just with an ordinary broom either; get something stiffer like steel wool or an old toothbrush so as not scratch off any finish on your mantelpiece above where fires would usually take place (think about how hot those logs get!). You may need help moving heavy objects since some types weigh hundreds pounds!
4. Fertilize your lawn.
Fertilizing your lawn will help promote a healthy environment for your grass, and it will keep pests away. In the fall, you can feed your lawn with a fertilizer that contains nitrogen. This will promote deep root growth and keep the soil moist through winter.
If you are unsure how much fertilizer to use, follow these guidelines:
If you have no irrigation system or if there is no rain forecasted for at least two weeks after application, apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn area. Fertilizers containing ammonium sulfate are good choices in this case because they offer longer-lasting effects (up to 6 weeks).
For shorter periods of dry weather—such as one week—try applying 1/2 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn area instead!
5. Check your smoke detectors.
To ensure your family is safe and healthy, it’s important to perform a routine inspection of all smoke detectors.
Check the batteries in each detector, as well as any that have been recently replaced. If you haven’t done so already, replace them annually with lithium batteries to increase the lifespan of the smoke detectors.
Test each detector by pressing the test button on its battery-powered model or pulling out the battery on non-battery models (after replacing it). If there is no sound after 10 seconds have passed, replace it immediately and continue testing until you find one working properly; if you still can't detect any beeping sounds after multiple tries, get in touch with your local fire department right away! They may be able to help locate and repair whatever's causing issues with your emergency system before disaster strikes at home—and save lives along with property damage!
6. Clean out your gutters and downspouts.
Cleaning your gutters and downspouts at least twice a year is the most important thing you can do to keep them working properly. The best time to clean gutters and downspouts is in the fall before winter sets in. This ensures that you’re ready for icy, snowy conditions that could cause clogs or malfunctions. To clean your gutters and downspouts:
Use a ladder or scaffold for safety; place it under the gutter or downspout connection where you will be cleaning (look for areas where leaves collect). If there are two fixtures on one side, place the ladder between them so that you can reach both at once without having to reposition yourself on an unsteady surface.
Use long-handled brushes or scrapers with soft bristles (such as screen-door brushes) to remove buildup from inside of pipes and tubes; use stiffer brushes if more serious clogs require stronger scrubbing power.
Clean debris off roofing material first before removing any obstructions such as dead leaves, twigs, etc., from inside of pipe by hand-scraping with brush tool until all obstructions are removed!
If you don't feel comfortable cleaning your gutters, you can seek professional help by calling American Exteriors! We are a trusted exterior cleaning company with. more than 500 five-star reviews and service the greater Charlotte Metro area like Mooresville, Hickory, Matthews, South End, and more. Give us a call at 704-964-2592! And we don't just do gutter cleaning, we can also clean your windows, house, driveway, deck, boat dock, and any other areas of your home or business.
7. Perform routine maintenance on storm windows and doors.
When you have a storm window or door, make sure it is securely fastened and fits properly. Check that the frame isn't damaged or cracked and that it's not painted shut. If you can't open the storm window, try using a hairdryer on one side of it for about 20 seconds to loosen up any adhesive. Also look for missing hardware and don't forget to check all sides of each piece to make sure they're secure. Finally, make sure there aren't any holes in your windows or doors that could let cold air in (or out).
8. Insulate areas that may lose heat easily.
Insulate areas that may lose heat easily. Insulating your attic and basement are good ways to keep your house warm during the cold months ahead. If you notice drafts coming from windows or doors, you can use foam insulation to seal them up.
Get a programmable thermostat for your home. These devices allow you to set temperatures for different times of day so that you don't have to worry about manually adjusting the temperature when no one is home or asleep at night.
9. Clean out your dryer's venting system.
Cleaning the dryer's venting system is a great way to keep the house smelling fresh and eliminate any unwanted moisture, which can cause mold. To make sure your dryer is properly ventilated, follow these steps:
Inspect the ductwork for blockages, kinks, or other obstructions
Make sure the ductwork length isn't too short or too long. If it's too long, moisture could accumulate before reaching an outside vent; if it's too short, clothes won't get tumbled around enough inside the drum to get fully dried, which can lead to mildew and mold growth
Look for any leaks in your ductwork
10. Inspect the roof for wear or damage.
Inspect the roof for wear or damage. Fall is a great time to check your roof for signs of wear and tear. Be sure to look for damage from storms and other natural disasters, as well as loose or missing shingles that could lead to leaks in the future. If you notice any signs of water damage, it’s important to have them repaired before they become serious problems—and don't forget to check around vents and downspouts as well!
We hope these tips will help you have a safe and comfortable autumn. If you’re looking for more information about home improvement, check out our blog!