The Hottest Tips to Prepare Your Home for Cooler Weather

Your end-of-summer home maintenance to-do lists

When summer is drawing to a close it’s time to knock out some important tasks.  There is work to do inside and outside, and there are special steps to take if you expect your residence to be vacant through winter.  Here are some handy tips and tasks to prep your home for the change of season.

Your indoor to-do list:

  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Experts recommend changing batteries in these items every six months or when you change your clocks for daylight savings.  Don’t underestimate the importance of these little contraptions.  The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission states that “smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can save lives by alerting you to a fire or to poisonous carbon monoxide in your home.”  You should also test your detectors monthly.
  • Air filters. Popular Mechanics recommends changing air filters every sixty days.  Allowing debris to build up on your air filters lowers energy efficiency.
  • Ceiling fans. Your ceiling fans are not just for cooling your home during the summer months.  By reversing their direction to clockwise they can help you stay warmer.  This simple change can cut your heating costs by up to ten percent.
  • Install storm doors and windows. Putting on a storm doors and windows cuts drafts and saves energy.  The storm door alone can make your home up to 45% more energy efficient!
  • Weatherstripping and caulking. Inspect your home for places air may escape or come in from outside and seal the leaks.
  • Deep clean. Some professionals suggest deep cleaning the house in fall.  Empty and scrub your refrigerator, shampoo carpets, and wash your windows.
  • Prevent frozen pipes. com suggests setting your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees, even when out of town. Insulating pipes with foam insulation and letting your faucet trickle to keep water moving are other ways to prevent frozen pipes.

 

Your outdoor to-do list:

  • Winterize water lines. Now is the time to disconnect and drain garden hoses and shut off outdoor spigots.  Be sure not to leave hoses connected to spigots.
  • Clean gutters. Built up sticks, leaves and dirt can cause ice to accumulate in your gutters and lead to costly repairs.  Experts recommend removing debris in the fall before freezing temps arrive.
  • Prune plants. Late fall is a great time to trim back shrubs and trees as growth is winding down.  Cut growth away from your house to prevent trapping moisture and wind damage, leaving approximately a three-foot gap.
  • Service the air conditioner. Call a technician to tend your unit.  Routine maintenance will help your air conditioner run smoothly and efficiently.  Keeping it maintained can prolong its life as well.

 

Your winterizing “extras”

If you plan to leave your home empty during winter months, there is some special upkeep experts recommend that you do.

  • Shut off water. Turn off the water to your home at the main valve.  Homeowners with well water can shut of the breaker to the pump.
  • Drain water. Allow the water in your lines to drain by turning on faucets.  Use an air compressor to force remaining water from the lines.
  • Set your thermostat. Lowering the thermostat to around sixty degrees will save you money on heating but will keep the house warm enough to prevent water in pipes from freezing and bursting the pipes.

 

It’s time to check things off your lists

The close of summer means prepping your home for cooler weather.  Take steps to get the inside and outside of your home ready.  If you plan to leave for the colder months, you have some extra steps to properly winterize your home.  By following the tips outlined here you and your house will be all set for the changing seasons.