Happy autumn, friends! Today officially marks the first day of the fall season. As our little part of Earth begins to experience shorter daylight hours and cooler temperatures, the season also welcomes the arrival of bonfires, hayrides, and pumpkin-flavored everything.
As the temperature becomes more comfortable, it is the perfect time to prepare your home or business for the chill of winter. With that in mind, we would like to offer a few items to add to your weekend to-do list:
- Survey your property for trees and shrubs that need to be trimmed; trimming is meant to protect your home and power lines. The ideal time for pruning varies for each plant. Look for dead and damaged branches, as well as those close to your roof, gutters, or power lines. Be wise about this chore and call in a professional if you have any doubt about your ability to safely complete it. Proper equipment and experience is essential when trimming large trees or those far from the ground.
- Clean gutters and keep them that way. Summer storms, Frisbees, and baseballs may have clogged gutters and downspouts. Clean them so rain can flow freely away from your roof. Soon the leaves will begin to fall, so the importance of this job continues throughout the season.
- Look for holes and gaps. Cracks and holes sometimes appear around the foundation, in siding, and near windows and doors. Even a small gap is a welcome sign for small critters and chilly weather to enter your home. Repair them before they become larger problems.
- Keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Weather stripping should be used around doors and windows. Use caulk for smaller air leaks.
- Consider storm windows. If you have less efficient windows in your home, replacing them will save money in the long run. If you don’t have the money up front, then storm windows are a more affordable alternative.
- Get a check-up. Before the first frost, the wise home or business owner will have their heating unit checked and serviced. Preventative maintenance is key to surviving the winter without a heating system failure. Make sure to change the filter regularly throughout the winter.
- Upgrade your thermostat. If you haven’t yet installed a programmable thermostat, what are you waiting for? This inexpensive upgrade can make a huge difference in your monthly energy bills, all while keeping your home comfortable. Set the temperature to be lower while the home is empty and late at night when the family is sleeping.
Once you’ve completed your fall to-do list, your home or business will be ready to face winter with energy efficiency and safety. Kick back around the bonfire and enjoy some s’mores and pumpkin flavored creamer in your coffee.