Autumn Home Maintenance: 3 Essential Monthly Tasks

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As the season shifts from summer to fall, your home will start to need special attention. Colder weather tends to sneak up on us after we’ve adjusted to the summer months, especially once we start losing day light. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by a shifting priority list with fewer hours to get it all done.

Now that the kids are back to school and the holidays are nearing, use our list for the three essential monthly tasks when maintaining your home this autumn.

1. Maintain the home’s heater.

Depending on how your home is heated, you’ll have to make a judgement call on when exactly to turn it on, and you don’t want to be caught off-guard when this time comes.

Routinely change the filters in your HVAC system once per month, and remember to adjust the temperature settings if you have it on a timer. You may not need cooling or heating for many autumn days, and it would be a shame to have your HVAC kick on when you would be just as comfortable with the windows open. These systems also require a specialist to perform yearly routine maintenance. The beginning of summer is a good time for this service call, but if you missed maintaining your air conditioner in June, don’t put it off. An expert will clean the filters and coils as well as check for mechanical issues.

If you have a fireplace, be sure to clean the chimney. Creosote is a highly flammable residue that’s left over when you burn wood, and it’s essential that you sweep your chimney before you’re tempted by cold weather to light the first fire. These fires are very hard to extinguish and can be life threatening, so don’t put it off!

2. Adjust your lawn care.

The leaves will quickly change, and it’s likely that you’ll rake them on a weekly basis rather than monthly. With increased rain, check for any runoff that might be damaging your lawn as well. This could be a symptom of roof or gutter damage, so identify the issue early to reduce the risk of a leak in your home. (Select Home Warranty offers optional coverage for roof leaks.)

If you have outdoor storage space, such as a garage or shed, check that there aren’t any unwanted pests moving in as the weather gets colder. With night coming sooner, be sure to have your outdoor lighting set up; this will also help deter any animals. Don’t forget to use LED lights to save a ton on your electricity bill.

If your yard has a garden, November is a good time to dig up your annual plants, since they will soon die on their own. If you have perennials planted, consider laying straw over the bulbs to protect them until spring.

3. Clean the home while checking for window and door drafts.

Spot clean areas of your home including the bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, and living room monthly. When you opened your windows on warmer days, plenty of debris is sure to have entered your home. Check under the furniture and rugs as well for any dirt that may have been dragging in by people entering your home.

While you’re in each room, check the weather stripping around windows and doors. As you get further into autumn, you might even notice a bit of a draft. If you can catch these drafts early in the seasons, you’ll save on your energy bill both now and later.