How to Prepare Your Home for Fall

Arnold Arboretum: Reddening fall foliage

You wouldn't know it from the high temperatures we’re still experiencing, but fall is just around the corner. This is a great time to prepare your home for the cooler days ahead. Besides performing tasks like cleaning out the gutters, there are a few steps you should take to ensure a painless and relaxing fall and winter.

  • Get ready to say goodbye to the air conditioning. Clean your condensing unit of debris with a hose and use a breathable waterproof cover, which will help extend the life and performance of the unit.
  • Do a heat check. You may have almost forgotten you even had a heating system, but you need to make sure it’s in excellent working condition before you actually use it. Get a trusted specialist to conduct a thorough check. It also pays off to replace the air filter and clear your heating vents. Bonus tip: this is a good time to get a carbon monoxide detector if you don’t have one yet, especially for for those of you with kids or pets in your home.
  • Inspect your roof. A yearly inspection will help ensure you get a long life out of your shingles. Look for debris that could cause soft spots, trim branches and clean the gutters. While you’re at it, inspect your chimney and repair siding and downspouts.
  • Check the plumbing. Have any exposed water or drain piping in uninsulated spaces (like the outside walls or the attic)? Get them insulated. If you have any exterior faucets, drain water from them and turn their water supply off . Also disconnect any garden hoses, drain them, and store them inside.
  • Check for air leaks (this page offers good tips on how to do that). Inexpensive rope caulk is a good way to fix the problem, if indeed you have one.
  • Have sprinklers? By the end of October you should have the water supply shut off. You should also blow compressed air through the sprinkler lines to purge them of water and prevent them from freezing and bursting.

For a longer, albeit less detailed list, take a look at Tarion’s online section on Maintaining Your Home in the fall.

Do you have a home maintenance routine? What tips are most important in your opinion? Let us know!