A Checklist of Fall Home Maintenance Tasks

With the frost snap only a few weeks out, I’ve been turning my energy away from the yard and making my way through the list of fall home tasks instead. Fall home tasks are the little chores and tasks we do to ready our homes for the upcoming winter. Taking care of these tasks while the weather is nice means that we won’t be having to deal with them when the snow starts to fly.

Schedule the seasonal furnace check. The best time to call your furnace service technician is before you need the heat. Your technician will lube and clean your furnace, replace the filter, and make sure that everything is up and running smoothly.

Have the chimney swept. If you rely on a fireplace to heat your home like I do, early fall is a good time to have the chimney swept as well. Chimney sweeps will remove bird nests and other debris from the chimney stacks, clear out the creosote and make sure that your fireplace or insert is operating safely.

Clean out the gutters. Falling leaves will clog gutters in a hurry. Once the leaves are down, grab a helper and clean out the gutters and downspouts so they will be able to handle rain and melting snow. Don’t forget to straighten out the splash blocks so they point away from your home’s foundation.

Remove window screens. You’ll extend the life of your window screens by removing them during the cold weather seasons. The fall is a good time to hose them down, make repairs where needed, and stash them in a safe place in the garage.

Flip the direction of ceiling fans. To push the warm air downwards and keep you warmer in the winter, the fans should be switched to the clock-wise position in the Fall.

Replace weather stripping. The adhesive that holds weather stripping to your doors and windows works best when the temperatures are still warm. Fall is a great time to check the condition of the weather stripping and replace where needed.

Drain the pump head. For those of us who have an irrigation well or irrigation pump to water our yards, mid Fall is when these should be drained and buttoned up for the winter.

Fix roof holes. During a heavy rainstorm is not the time to discover that you have a hole in the roof. On the next sunny Fall day, climb up in the attic and look for places where the light is streaming through the shingles or the sheathing, then make repairs as needed. While your up there, double check for signs of entry by animals and seal those places as well.

More by this contributor:
5 home repair strategies that won’t strain your budget.
Rooftop maintenance tasks for the homeowner.
Is my fireplace safe to use?

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