Getting Ready for Fall and Winter
Summer is coming to a sad end, and soon the colors of fall will be on us; it will be time to get ready for the changing of the seasons. There are some essentials to do around the home and yard in order to be prepared for the coming cold weather; these tips should help keep you organized and up to par with what needs to be done. Outside of the house there is plenty to do to get ready, and these things don’t need to be done in any particular order.
If you have rain gutters, make sure you clean the gutters and drain pipes out to prevent clogging. Outdoor faucets should be drained before the first frost sets in. Fire places, wood stoves, and chimneys should all be cleaned out really good before they need to be used to take the chill out of the fall air.
Chimney cleaning is best done by a professional, and make certain the chimney cleaner also checks the damper to be certain it’s in good working order. The sooner this part is done, the sooner you can make any necessary repairs before the really cold weather sets in. If there are any leaks or areas that are prone to leaking, have the roof repaired in that spot before the bad weather starts.
Unplug and drain air conditioners and swamp coolers, and if they are removable then remove them after you are sure you won’t need them anymore. Some places get what is called an “Indian Summer” and hot days can unexpectedly pop up that you may want your air conditioner for. Dust and clean them up really good before storing, so there is less work to do next spring when you haul it out again. Once the outside tasks are complete, it is time to go indoors and begin preparations there.
Check all the doors and windows for any drafts and fill in any cracks; this will help keep energy costs down during the cold weather months. If you have removable screens and storm windows, take down the screens, clean and store them, and put in the storm windows. If you use plastic on the windows throughout the house like we do, then put the plastic up.
You can also prepare the water heater by draining the tank and clearing out any debris that it may have collected over the summer. If you use a furnace to heat your home, clean and replace the filter if necessary. This would be a good time to have the furnace inspected by a professional to be sure it is in good working order.
These tasks may seem annoying or time consuming, but once they are complete, you are winter ready!