With hayrides, trick-or-treating, and grand feasts, fall is one of the most exciting times of the year. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the scariest and not because of Halloween. Cold temperatures, severe storms, and dare we say, snow – can stop you from enjoying leaf peeping and other fun activities. Prevent costly repairs and other unfortunate surprises at home with these nine frighteningly easy home maintenance tasks you need to complete this season!
#1 – Call your HVAC magician
One of the most frightening nightmares you can have is a cold winter’s night. Before you flip the switch that magically turns your air conditioner into a heater, call a professional to inspect and service the system. This will help to ensure the heat will be there when you need it, and getting your unit serviced twice a year – once in spring and once in fall – can prolong the life of your system.
#2 – Conjure up lower heating bills with a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat is one of the best installations in any home. This device allows you to set your home’s temperatures lower at certain times of the day — during work hours when you won’t be home or when you’re sleeping. Simply by lowering your thermostat 7-10 degrees (during colder months) for eight hours can reduce your heating bill up to 10 percent!
#3 – Cast a spell on your ceiling fan
The cool breeze across the back of your neck may be from a ghost or perhaps your ceiling fan, if it’s still sending air downward. Circulate the hot air around your room by switching the direction of your fan – from counterclockwise to clockwise – so you can stay roast-y, toast-y warm.
#4 – Switch out your screens
Help your home retain its warmth this fall by removing screen doors and window screens and replacing them with their cold weather counterparts. As this helps to increase your home’s heat efficiency, it can also save you money on utility bills. It can also help to prevent freezing pipes and expensive water damage.
#5 – Banish branches from your home
Trim trees and shrubs that are close to your roof to prevent lifted shingles or even clogged gutters, which can lead to expensive water damage in your home. Plants also help uninvited pests reach and enter your home, so make sure to call a professional to cut away long branches. Also, consider calling a roofing professional to check the integrity of your roof before winter arrives.
#6 – Make your gutter and downspout debris disappear
We can hear your moaning and not in a Frankenstein's monster kind of way. Unfortunately, you need to clean your gutters and downspouts to prevent water damage to your roof, siding, and even your home's interior. Avoid a nasty - and painful - ladder accident by calling a professional who can make all the leaves and dirt disappear, just like magic.
#7 – Prevent pipe problems
As you remember from high school science class, water expands when it transforms from a liquid to a solid, so you'll want to make sure your garden hose doesn't become a victim. Remove all hoses from all faucets, drain them, and then wrap them up for next spring. Turn off all outdoor water, too, so your pipes don't expand and break, sending water throughout your home.
#8 – Leaves, be gone!
The exquisite foliage of fall is surely one of nature’s greatest displays, but as the leaves fall, they can also destroy your lawn by blocking sunlight, suffocating the grass, and even welcoming fungi and other issues. (They can also be slippery on walkways, leading to falls and injuries for trick-or-treaters!)
Instead of leaving your fallen leaves until the end of the season, clear them away weekly and absolutely get them up before rain or snow occurs.
Quick tip: Use a mulching mower on your grass. This will help save your lawn (and your back) and mulching the leaves can feed your lawn and prevent weed growth. Just make sure the leaf pieces aren’t too big where they can still cause damage to your grass.
#9 – Prevent a true nightmare with emergency equipment
Check your smoke detectors and carbon dioxide monitors every month to make sure they're working properly. Keep extra batteries on hand to avoid disconnecting your detectors for any length of time. Though you might pretend to be a firefighter for Halloween, you'll want to make sure you don't need a real one on the scene anytime soon.
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