Sep
08

How Do I Prep My Home for Fall?

You Ask, We Answer: How Do I Prep My Home for Fall?

Ah, fall in Connecticut. While we love the easy, breezy days of summer, the arrival of autumn still gives us a little flutter. From the beautiful fall foliage that blankets our state to sipping apple cider in a pumpkin patch, these few autumn months can be some of New England’s most charming. As we get ready to welcome the official autumn equinox, we recommend this short to-do list to prep your Connecticut home for fall—and remember, the more you do now, the less you’ll have to do when winter rolls around!

Repair drafty windows

The number one reason to repair drafty windows and doors? Money.
Air leaks allow cold air to sneak into your home, leaving you reaching for the thermostat to turn up the heat to offset the drafts. Weatherstripping can save you up to 20% on your heating bills, so be sure to make this a top priority on your to-do list.

If you applied weatherstripping a year or two ago, congrats on being on top of things! Just be sure to inspect it to make sure it’s still in top shape, as it can deteriorate over time. Try this to test your weatherstripping: Close your windows or doors on a piece of paper. If you can pull the paper out without resistance, it’s time to replace it. And don’t forget to apply caulk to further seal up any cracks!

Clean your gutters

Keep your roof safe and avoid the nightmare of water leaks by keeping your gutters clear of debris. After such a stormy summer, it’s important to give your gutters some attention to make sure they’re clear of leaves, twigs, berries and other things that can block them and prevent them from diverting water from your roof.

Once you inspect your gutters for signs of rust and clean them of debris, protect them for the season and year ahead (hello, falling leaves!) by installing mesh gutter guards. They’ll allow the water to get through and go where it needs to without letting in more debris you’ll have to face down next year.

Store outdoor furniture

While the weather is still gorgeous enough to relax outdoors, enjoy savoring every moment! But as temps dip and skies grey, be sure to store your outdoor furniture in the garage, basement, or anywhere else that will keep it safe from winter’s elements. Doing so can extend the life of your outdoor furniture—especially if it’s made of wood or fabric—and ensure you can enjoy it for many summers to come.

Test your snow blower

It may seem ridiculous to test out your snowblower in September, but if the past few years of weather have taught us anything, it’s that “once in 100 years” storms and unpredictable temperature swings are the new normal. And, with the global supply chain still being disrupted by the pandemic, you don’t want to be caught empty-handed should Mother Nature dump a whole lot of snow in your driveway. Testing your snowblower now means you can still have it repaired or replaced before winter rolls in—and that means far less stress in the near future.

Swap out filters

Furnace filters are like your home’s silent heroes: You don’t realize how much they do until they need replacing. Dust, dander, pet hair—all of these can clog your furnace filters and make it more difficult for your furnace to run efficiently, thereby making your utility bills higher.

If you have disposable filters, you can vacuum them once before replacing them completely. If you’re got reusable foam filters, you can vacuum them once a month or clean them with a soft brush to keep them working as they should. Electrostatic or metal filters can be removed and washed with water before putting them back in place.

Clean your fireplace

Whether you use your fireplace often, or just a few times a year, having it inspected annually by a professional can keep you safe and stress-free in the long run. Schedule your appointment with a chimney sweep to ensure you don’t have creosote buildup, that there is nothing blocking your flue and that everything is in working order before you light the first fire of the season. Then sit back, relax, and welcome fall’s arrival with a cozy night in!