After a long, hot summer, you may be ready for the possibility of cooler temperatures ahead. But what about your home? If you haven’t prepared your household, the transition from summer to fall is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Some preventive maintenance tasks you can tackle yourself. Others will require the help of a professional. But here are five projects you should consider.
1. Schedule a furnace checkup.
After sitting idle for months, your furnace can become bogged down by dust and debris. Burners may not fire properly. Exhaust systems may not be functioning. Such problems can raise your utility bill and could also pose a safety risk to your family.
2. Locate and eliminate drafts.
If you feel a draft but can’t quite track it down, try lighting a candle to see which way the flame flickers. Most air leaks occur around the edges of doors or windows. To eliminate the problem, replace worn weatherstripping and old caulking.
3. Clean out the gutters.
Gutters should be cleaned at least once a year, preferably after the autumn leaves have fallen. You can do this yourself or call in a professional. You want to make sure the entire gutter system, including downspouts, is cleaned. And make any necessary repairs.
4. Prepare your yard.
It’s time to tidy up the landscaping. Trim bushes and trees as needed — and pay special attention to any damaged tree branches that could fall across power lines or on your roof. Haul off old leaves and other debris. Fertilize the lawn and plant bulbs for the following spring.
5. Add outdoor lighting.
Additional lighting can not only make your outdoor space more versatile but also safer. This is especially true in winter months when there are typically fewer hours of daylight. Even the addition of simple solar-powered lights along a walkway can reduce the likelihood of accidents.