Fall Maintenance Tips
Temperatures are cooling down and that means it’s time to start thinking of ways to prepare your Kentucky home for fall and winter. These simple steps can lower your utility bills and keep you and your family warm and comfortable throughout the cold season.
·Clear your gutters and downspouts from debris frequently throughout the fall. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems, pest infestations, wet basements, foundation damage and many other expensive complications. Consider installing gutter guards to cut down on the amount of leaves that can clog your drainage system.
·Caulking is one of the least expensive home repairs out there, with some of the biggest energy savings. Caulk around windows and doorframes to prevent heat from escaping. Silicone caulk is great for outdoor use because it won’t crack or shrink when the weather gets colder. If your weather stripping is cracked or loose or you can see daylight from inside your home, consider replacing it.
·Now is the best time to get your lawn ready for the spring. By spreading seed now, you give the roots enough time to germinate and develop a good root system before the cold weather sets in. If you can, aerate your lawn before you put down fertilizer, which will allow moisture and nutrients to get into the roots. We’ve found a great tutorial from DIY Network on how to aerate your lawn. If you aren’t able to aerate, consider mulching dry, fallen leaves rather than raking them. When you mow, remove the bag and let the pieces fall among the grass blades. This will allow them to decompose and nourish your lawn over the winter.
·Change your furnace filter regularly. Before you switch over to the heat setting, contact a licensed heating contractor to inspect and service your gas heater or furnace to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Your local utility company will often provide this service for free. Also have your wood-burning fireplace inspected, cleaned and repaired to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
·Just because it’s getting cooler does not mean that your ceiling fan can’t help you lower your utility bills. Change the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling.
·Take the time to do some additional fall cleaning you don’t normally get around to, like laundering window treatments, vacuuming your mattress and box springs, and cleaning out the clothes dryer vent. These small tasks will help remove dust and dirt that can be circulated into the air while your home is closed during the winter months. This cleaning will also save you time when you begin your preparations for the fall and winter parties and guests you will be hosting in your home.
Do you have any other fall maintenance tips to share? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!