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Fall into Good Habits: 10 Fall Home Maintenance Musts

Fall into Good Habits: 10 Fall Home Maintenance Musts

Football season has arrived; school’s been back in session for weeks now; and, Starbucks is, again, serving that oh-so-delicious pumpkin spice latte. These surefire signs can mean only one thing… fall is here! Other than pulling out your cozy sweaters and other cold weather gear, what can you do to prepare yourself - and your home - for cooler temperatures and that blustery four-letter-word that we all know will be here sooner than we’d like it to?

While you were breathing in that crisp, clean autumn air, we compiled a list of ways that you can show your home a little extra love before colder temperatures arrive. Here are 10 fall home maintenance tips to make sure your abode is winter-ready:

1. Breeze into the Season: Heat rises, so reverse the direction of your ceiling fans to drive that heat down and not up, up and away from you! Make sure the blades are spinning clockwise to circulate hot air through your home.

2. Breathe in that Clean Air: Speaking of hot air, make sure your furnace is blowing out clean air by having it cleaned and inspected. At the very least, replace the filter. If you have a fireplace or woodstove, do a clean sweep to make sure you’re safely heating your home.

3. Be Alarmed: The change of seasons is a perfect time to make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. You should check more than quarterly, but if you haven’t done so lately, make sure the batteries are up to par.

4. Layer Up: While you’re looking up, mosey on up to the attic and make sure your home is properly insulated. This little step will help ensure that you’re not only staying a little warmer, but that your pockets stay a little greener, too!

5. Hit the Roof: While it may seem like a pain, some preventative maintenance on your home’s dome may also prevent you from hitting the roof after winter’s first blow causes your heating bill to skyrocket or, worse yet, something starts dripping inside. Repair any loose or broken shingles now, while you can!

6. Get Your Mind IN the Gutter: Before you climb down from your roof, make a stop at your gutters. Falling leaves are beautiful, but not when they cause your gutters to back up. When you notice your trees have shed most of their leaves, help your gutters shed that unwanted weight.

7. Walk the Walk, Caulk the Caulk: Thoroughly inspect your windows and door frames for any gaps. When you find a little extra nook or cranny, cover it with caulking. One obvious incentive to do so is keeping the warm air in; but, another less obvious reason is to keep unwanted pests out. Cooler temperatures are not only enough to send us scrambling for warmth, bugs will also try to find any way they can to take comfort in your warm home. Don’t invite them in!

8. Don’t Put that Green Thumb Away Yet: Yes, most of your pruning is done in the spring and summer, but fall is a great time to prepare your lawn for an excellent spring comeback by fertilizing it! You can also spread some mulch over your perennials to show them some extra love this fall.

9. Tighten Loose Ends… and Faucets: You won’t need to water your lawn this winter, so put the hose away and tighten up any exterior faucets. You definitely do not want your pipes to freeze and burst this winter!

10. Power Down… and Up: After you’ve touched up your lawn and garden, properly store your warm weather tools. Clean your garden tools and don’t leave excess gas in the mower. You can make sure you have room to stow away your mower by getting out your snow blower, too. It IS that time of year already!

Remember, a little preparation now can save a lot of time, money and agony later. Read even more fall home maintenance tips via Kiplinger, the DIY Network or Bob Vila.