As fall sets in and we move indoors, it's time to shift your focus from your home's outdoor spaces to its indoor ones. Colder temperatures are coming. So, taking time now to do a few seasonal chores will help ensure you and your family have a cozy, stress-free fall and winter. Let's start with some interior tasks that should be on the top of your list.
Interior Fall Chores
1. Store all summer clothes and bedding, and bring out winter items.
The key to a cozy fall is warm clothing and bedding. You won't be needing those shorts and tank tops anymore. So, store them in a safe, airtight box where they can be out of the way during the winter. In their place, bring out your warmer clothes and thicker sheets. To make sure everything smells fresh and is wrinkle-free, throw them in the laundry first. Switch out your bedding with thicker sheets if you have them. Doing these simple tasks will keep you warm and also reduce your heating bill.
2. Have your heating system checked.
You'll be glad you've done this once winter rolls around! Either every year or every other year, hire an inspector to look over your heating system and the furnace for any damages. Clean out any lint from heating grates. Make sure to move furniture and flammable items away from heating units.
3. Clean your heating ducts.
Since you'll be spending more time indoors, the air you're breathing must be free of pollutants. The best way to achieve that is to have your air duct system cleaned. Dust, pollen, and animal dander can build up in your ducts and recycle into the air you're breathing. Ask your HVAC contractor if they offer that service.
4. Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector and fire alarm.
In addition to being the season of warm fires, fall and winter are also times where many people have their windows closed, making for stagnant indoor air. Ensure you and your home are safe by keeping your carbon monoxide detector and fire alarms up to date. Change out old batteries and test each device, replace any malfunctioning ones with new units.
5. Check home appliances.
Along with colder weather come endless holiday gatherings, parties, and dinners with loved ones. To ensure your holidays are filled with relaxation and fun, think ahead to any appliances you might need and make sure they are in good shape. Kitchen appliances are especially relevant, from standing mixers to blenders, crock pots, and air poppers. If your appliances need repairs, get them done now ahead of the holiday rush. If you realize there's something you need but don't have, this is also a good time to make a plan to buy or borrow it from a friend.
6. Reseal your windows and doors.
Improperly sealed windows and doors can negate all the work you've done to make sure your heating system is ready for colder weather. After all, nobody's interested in paying to heat the outdoors. When you're looking for leaks, a simple way to find them is to run your hand along the edges of the window and door frames. If you feel cold air or a particularly chilly section of the frame, it may be worth resealing. In more severe situations, you may even be able to see gaps in the frame. If you're in a position to, it's worthwhile to invest in double pane windows to prevent heat loss.
Here are our top tips for exterior chores you'll be glad you did when the cold weather hits.
Exterior Fall Chores
7. Winterize any outside plumbing and pipes.
Before temperatures plummet, take action to prevent freezing or bursting pipes in the winter. In some cases, this may look like insulating pipes from the cold. Whereas in others, you might need to shut off and drain the water pipes entirely.
8. Clean the chimney and make any repairs.
As we move indoors for fall and winter, it's the season of warm fires. If you have a chimney, a good rule of thumb is to get it inspected annually. If you didn't have it checked out in the spring, then it's essential to get it done before you start lighting fires in the fall and winter. Make any repairs, clean out the chimney flue thoroughly, and remove old ashes from the fireplace.
9. Trim trees and remove dead branches.
Walk around the outside of your home and look for trees hanging over your roof. Also, make a note of any trees leaning too close to the house. Especially look for dead branches. Having these branches and trees trimmed back can avert disaster and higher emergency fees.
10. Put away patio furniture and summer toys.
Fall can bring about some chilly and windy days. Now that summer is coming to an end, make sure that outdoor furniture — including umbrellas — is secure or completely put away. Children's toys — like beach balls or sandboxes — should also be tucked away for the coming months.
We hope you've found these fall chore tips helpful. And speaking of help, remember that the mortgage professionals at PenFed are here to assist you. Whether you're refinancing or buying a new home, we have the product to fit your needs.