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With kids back in school and the sun rising later, it’s time to think about preparing your home for fall! Trust me, you do not want to discover at 3AM that you forgot to turn off your outside water and, thanks to a hard freeze, your burst hose is turning your patio into an ice skating rink. By spreading these tasks over the next few weeks, you’ll ensure your home is ready for cooler weather when it happens. Don’t tell yourself there is plenty of time because Mother Nature can be very unpredictable.
Step 1 – Fertilize Your Lawn
Fertilizing your lawn in fall will protect it over the winter and help it green up faster come springtime. This is especially important in areas with hot and dry summers since grass tends to stop growing under such extremes. The fertilizer will trigger renewed growth of both blades and roots so your lawn will be thick and healthy again before winter’s cold temperatures set in.
Step 2 – Get Your HVAC Serviced
Your AC has been faithfully chugging along all summer, and now it’s time to give it a rest. Before you tuck it away for the winter, be sure to clean the coils first. Once clean and dry, cover the AC unit to keep debris and ice from damaging your system. Switch your thermostat from cooling to heating and be sure to change the filter. It’s also wise to take a walk around your home to make sure all vents are uncovered.
Step 3 – Clean Your Gutters
This is not as difficult as it may seem! Just get a ladder and work in a pair, so one person holds the ladder and watches as the other climbs and pulls debris out of the gutters. Still too much work? Hire a gutter cleaning company – it’s worth it!
Step 4 – Drain and Store Your Lawn Equipment
Over time, unused gas goes through chemical changes which lead to gum and other harmful deposits that can destroy your lawn equipment. After you’ve given your lawn a final once-over for the season (usually around mid-October), you should drain the tanks of your lawn mower, leaf blower, and weed wacker. Fall is also a good time to get your lawn mower blades sharpened so they’ll be ready for next Spring.
Step 5 – Turn Off and Drain Outdoor Faucets and Sprinklers
Disconnect your outdoor hoses, turn off the outdoor water supply, and then open faucets and run your sprinkler system to drain them of water. It’s that simple!
Step 6 – Inspect and Clean Your Chimney
You won’t want to end up filling your home with soot, smoke, and carbon monoxide because you haven’t had your chimney cleaned. Even gas fireplaces need their chimneys cleaned and inspected to ensure there are no bird or squirrel nests blocking the flue, and that the chimney pipe is free of cracks that can allow smoke to enter your home. This job is best left to pros and the cost runs around $100-$200.
Step 7 – Get Your Ice Melt and Snow Blower Ready
People tend not to think about snow at all until the weather forecast mentions it. By that time, it’s often too late to find snow gear until the stores replenish their supplies. That’s why it’s smart to stock up on such things when they’re plentiful and, not surprisingly, lower-priced. Even if you think you’ve got enough left from last year, or that your snow blower or shovel are in good shape, take a few moments to check so you don’t get caught out in the cold finding out you’re wrong.