The world around us never stays the same. Each season slowly fades away and then a new one rushes forth. The striking contrasts between each time of the year can help refresh our mood and offer each and every one of us a chance for a change of pace.
Now the summer heat is fading fast, and it won’t be long before autumn bursts into life with all its vigorous yet gentle colors, sounds, and smells. It’s the season to enjoy the feeling of leaves crunching under your feet, but it is also a great time to be feeling cozy and snug indoors.
The end of summer means there are quite a few things that need to be done around your home to get it ready for the coming seasonal changes. These 14 tips will help you make the most of this wonderful time of year.
- Checking that windows and doors aren’t producing leaks and drafts is a must for this time of year. You can look for the draft yourself or get your home inspected by a professional. This can make all the difference in creating a cozy home once the temperature drops.
- Buy a programmable thermostat if you don’t have one. If you already have one, check the temperature settings. Setting your thermostat to lower the temperature automatically at night and when you’re not home can really help you save a lot on utility bills.
- Inspect the roof and clean the gutters. Take a close look at the roof and see if there are any damaged tiles and cracks as well as leaves or debris. Fix what needs to be fixed, and clean your roof in its entirety. And don’t forget to clean the gutters while you’re up there!
- Trim, trim, trim. Trees grow and grow during summer, as do the bushes, shrubs, and other plants in your garden. Check them all, and if necessary trim them back — especially trees, since they could be getting too close to power lines or your roof and could damage either of them.
- Get ready for power outages. Autumn and winter can bring power outages in certain areas, so it’s better to start preparing now. It’s a good idea to invest in an emergency generator for these situations. If you have one already, check that it’s working properly to avoid any surprises.
- Make sure to test home safety devices. Autumn is the time when we start turning on the heating and lighting the fireplace with increasing frequency. So it’s a good idea to replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices you have at home. Test them to make sure they’re working properly.
- Stock up on firewood. Either order enough firewood for the season or, if you gather your own firewood, make sure it’s dry and ready. It’s best to cover firewood and store it away from the house for safety reasons.
- Fertilize your lawn. Applying fall lawn fertilizer will help prevent winter damage and spring weeds. Ask a local garden center or check online to find out which type of fertilizer you need and when to apply it.
- Put away any seasonal furniture you have. Remember to clean it before storing it over the winter, preferably in a dry place.
- Rake and remove leaves from the yard. There’s going to be a whole lot more of them coming down from the trees as autumn intensifies, so start early! Put them into a compost pile or into yard garbage bags, and leave them at the curb for community pick up.
- Check water drainage. With autumn guaranteed to be wet and windy for many of us, you should make sure that rainwater downspouts are clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways.
- Clean your humidifiers. Replace any old filters and clean the inside compartment. Vinegar is inexpensive and works well for this task.
- Reinforce all your windows and doors. Remove summer screens and install storm windows and doors if you use them. Also remember to check the seals around all the doors and windows.
- Winterize your air conditioning. It’s never a bad idea to plan even further ahead. If your home has central air conditioning and you live in a climate where you won’t need it over the colder months, it may be necessary to cover your outdoor unit for the upcoming winter. If you use window air conditioning units, remove them or cover them to prevent air leaks.