The fall season has begun and of course you’re not ready. Nobody is. That’s why I’m here to remind you of a few things you should do before the cold weather and holiday season strikes. If you skip these things, ‘future you’ will be upset, so take heed.
1. Blow out your sprinklers
If you have sprinklers, this is a no-brainer. You need to do this. This includes using compressed air to ensure there is no water sitting in your sprinkler lines below ground. If there is, it will freeze and destroy your sprinklers, leading to costly repairs.
2. Take in any garden hoses
If you have a garden hose on a reel or hanging on a hook, bring them inside. The freeze will damage the rubber hose as well as cause ice buildup inside the hose. Your hose was not made to withstand intense cold and ice, so bring those in and save yourself having to replace them. This goes for any hose attachments that sit outside too, like sprayers or sprinklers for your lawn.
3. Empty your lawn equipment
The gas sitting in your lawn mower is not meant to sit idle for months at time. It can clog your mower and make it unusable in the spring when you need it again. Either drain the mower of gas, or run it dry. You can also add some Stabil or other fuel stabilizer to ensure any gas left in the lines does not gum up your mower. This is important if you want to be able to mow again and have your mower start right up.
4. Clean out your gutters
All summer and fall your gutters collect things (if you don’t have a gutter guard). They naturally will tend to collect and hold sticks, leaves, dirt and anything else little critters leave around. Combine this with repeated infusions of rain water and you have yourself a recipe for gutter disaster, gutter sludge. Gutter sludge weighs a lot and will rip your gutters right off of your house. If you don’t clear it out before the winter comes, gutter sludge becomes a gutter sludgesicle, further damaging your gutters with increased weight.
5. Replace your furnace filter
Your furnace needs a freely flowing filter in order to operate efficiently. If you let it get clogged up for too long, you are paying for an extra 2-5% of energy just to push the same amount of air around your house. It’s good to do this every 4-6 months, but if you life in a particularly dusty area or have a lot of pets, it may make sense to do it more often. This also improves the air quality in your home, reducing allergens and can even help reduce the spread of illness.
6. Get your snow equipment ready
There is nothing worse than a snowblower that won’t start after the first big snowfall of the year. Frustrating. Make sure you have the right gas and have changed the oil and make sure it starts. Also, locate your snow shovel and boots just so you know where they are when the time comes. Winter will be here before you know it, despite your objections.
7. Seal up your windows
Caulk up any gaps on the outside of your windows, along the brick to make sure you stay warm when you are heating your home. You can even put that shrink wrap along the interior of your windows if you have a particularly drafty window.
These tips should get you started in preparing for the colder weather ahead. Make sure you check out our back catalog of posts for more Pro Advice and let us know if there’s something you’d like to hear more about. If you have any questions about your home, call (888) 776-1998 and we’ll do our best to help you.