Get These 6 Easy Tasks on Your Fall To-Do List

Get these 6 easy tasks on your fall to-do list

Now that school has started, and life has returned to some type of routine, we are reminded of the change of seasons ahead. Before you know it, it’s fall. Then winter. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here are some easy things you can do to get ready for the cooler months ahead so be sure to get them on your fall to-do list:

Winterize AC

Winterizing your AC unit depends on what part of the country you live in. But if yours is exposed to leaves, pine needles, nuts and the like, you’ll want to cover it during the fall months. You can make one yourself or buy one at a hardware or home store. You can also weigh it down with plywood to protect it from ice. Just be sure to remove the cover in spring to encourage air circulation and prevent mold growth.

Clean and Inspect Chimney

To avoid a chimney fire from creosote buildup, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends chimneys be cleaned once a year. You could clean your chimney yourself, but it’s best to hire a chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. A sweep knows about building codes and can recognize potential problems.

Clean Gutters

If you’re not afraid of heights, cleaning gutters is relatively easy. Depending on where you live and the kind of trees you have, you should do it in spring and fall. Start near the downspout and grab the larger debris first and dispose of it in a bucket. Then flush the gutters with a hose from the opposite end of the downspout.

Plant Fall Bulbs for Spring Flowers

Fall is a great time to plant bulbs for spring flowers because the cooler air is easier on plants, but the soil is still warm, which allows roots to grow until the ground freezes. Irises, tulips and daffodils are good options, best in full sun. Just dig a hole two to three times deeper than the bulb is tall with the pointed end up.

Store Hoses

Turn off all faucets and drain garden hoses. Disconnect them from the outside spigots and store them in a dry place so any residual water doesn’t freeze. Put away your seasonal furniture and outdoor flower pots and lawn and garden decor as well.

Prep Lawn and Equipment

Rake and remove leaves from the yard and apply fertilizer to prevent winter damage. Finally, empty the fuel from your mower. Sharpen the blades and get repairs done now so you don’t have to worry about them in the spring.

7 Tips on Getting Your Home Ready for Winter

* This is a repeat post but worth posting again as winter will be here before you know it. 

Now is the time to begin preparations for the long, cold months ahead. These 7 tips on getting your home ready for winter apply to most homeowners:

  • Make sure your furnace is ready. You don’t want to be stuck on the first cold day of the season without heat. Change filters and stock up on new ones. Schedule a repair if needed. Heating professionals are busy and become even busier when the unprepared realize too late that their furnaces need fixing.
  • Get your chimney checked by a professional and have it cleaned. Animals like to build nests in chimney flues which is a safety concern, as is creosote buildup. For more information on the care and keeping of chimneys, visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America’s website.
  • Test your smoke alarms. You should be doing this monthly as it is, according to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). The agency recommends replacing the batteries at least once a year and replacing units every 10 years.
  • Blow out your sprinkler system. Turn off outside spigots and drain them as well. Cold weather can cause freezing, which is an expensive headache you won’t want to deal with later.
  • Clean gutters. Clogged gutters prevent water from properly draining and can also fill with ice and cause snow buildup on your roof. The weight from snow, and then subsequent leaking from melting snow, can seriously damage your roof.
  • Clean and dry patio furniture and store it away from the elements.
  • Trim bushes and branches that are near the house to prevent damage during severe weather.

For more tips, read this. Then get to work! And if you have any useful tips that have worked for you, let me know in the comments!