As we head into the fall and winter months, it’s important to prepare your home for the new season. If you’re a homeowner, you know things can wrong in an instant leaving you with a big headache and usually a big fat bill. I’ll never forget when my air conditioning went out one summer and I vowed from then on to always get it serviced twice a year. These small tasks help to keep your home in its best shape to handle what the weather will throw at it.
How To Prepare Your Home For Fall And Winter
Why Is Fall Home Maintenance Important?
Maintaining your home is a key part of home ownership. It helps to reduce expensive repairs down the road and can help make your home run more efficiently. Over time, this can save you money too. It’s important to do many of these things twice a year to ensure your home is in tip top shape. And it also helps to get it ready for the new season. This way you’re not figuring out if your fireplace is working that one night you really want to cozy up by it and realize you totally forgot to deal with it.
1. Cleaning Out Your Gutters
If you’ve got gutters, make sure they’re nice and cleaned out to get ready for all the falling leaves. This will keep clogged gutters at bay.
2. Clean The Fireplace & Chimney
So you can use your fireplace for cozy nights in, get your fireplace and chimney cleaned and ready to go. The rule of thumb is to have this cleaned and inspected for every fifty burns.
3. Check For Drafts
Check your windows and doors for any drafts. Heating bills can rise quickly and these can be small fixes that can have a big impact on your power bill. Try this door weather seal to keep the cool draft out.
4. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
For fall and winter, we want to warm our houses as efficiently as possible. Ceiling fans should turn in the clockwise direction for winter to warm your home up. Versus ceiling fans in the spring and summer should be in the counterclockwise direction to create a cool draft.
5. Clean your Ceiling Fans & Table Fans
Since you’re already dealing with your ceiling fans, might as well give them a good wipe down. They collect dust so quickly! And don’t forget about any smaller fans in your home that may be on a dresser or nightstand.
6. Cover Outdoor Furniture
Cover it, or bring it inside, but don’t overlook your outdoor furntiure. Leaving it out in the elements will cause it to wear down more quickly and require you to replace it come spring. You’ll thank me later if you store this (or cover it) so it’s as good as new in the spring.
7. Service Your HVAC
Making sure your heating and air system is serviced twice a year will help it run more smoothly. This will ensure the system is running most efficiently. Which will save you money on your heating bill. While you’re at it, they should also replace the air filters.
8. Clean The Windows
I’ll never forget the first time I truly cleaned my windows. I was disgusted. It’s now a seasonal cleaning activity over here. Clean the interior windows in every room. And if you can, wash the windows on the outside as well. While this may not be something that helps with the efficiency of your home, it definitely makes your house feel fresh and clean to kick off a new season.
9. Check Smoke Detectors And Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Double-check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly. These can be a true lifesaver in an emergency. Replace any batteries that need it.
10. Swap Your Clothes & Coats
If you’ve got small closets like me, you probably have fall and winter clothes in a separate part of your home. Now’s a great time to go through your current wardrobe and do some purging of anything you didn’t wear this past summer (especially if you didn’t wear it LAST summer either). And then bring in all your fall and winter pieces. I do a big shoe purge and swap, and always go through my coats. This is a great time to purge and also get an idea of what you may need to shop for for the fall season.
11. Manage Your Yard
Depending on where you live and what’s in your yard, it may be a good time to do some yard maintenance. From cutting back branches that overgrew this summer, to fertilizing your lawn or planting bulbs that will bloom in the spring. How I wish I had a yard because I’d be planting all the summer bulbs right now!
12. Clean Your Fridge Coils
Clean your refrigerator coils to make sure there’s no dirt or debris. This can keep it from cooling properly. You can also pull out the fridge and clean any dust off the vent. This collects quickly and I am always shocked how much dust has accumulated.
13. Empty Your Dishwasher Filter
Did you even know your dishwasher had a filter? Because I didn’t until recently. And let me tell you it’s disgusting. Cleaning this out every few months helps to keep it running smoothly.