September 29, 2017 Preparing Your Home for Fall Weather Preparing Your Home for Fall Weather Fall is upon us! Fortunately for us though, we live in the Northeast, which means we still have time to get in some last minute preparations before the cooler fall weather begins to take effect. You’ll want to take steps to ensure that your home is ready, inside and out, for the change in temperature. Your hard work will pay off when you can rest assured that your home is protected from seasonal changes. Here are 5 tips to help you prep for fall. 1. Clean Out Your Gutters Left unchecked, clogged gutters can become a nightmare. They fill up with dirt and debris, leaving excess water with nowhere else to go but right down the side of your home, potentially damaging your exterior or even the foundation of your home. Fortunately, gutter cleaning isn’t a tough job and it’s a job that you can tackle yourself. All you need is a ladder and someone to help stabilize the ladder while you remove excess debris. If you have a one-story home, there are even leaf blower attachments that you can purchase to help get the job done. Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can easily get help from a professional gutter cleaning service. 2. Turn Off Outdoor Plumbing Your outdoor plumbing is susceptible to the seasonal weather changes. In the few weeks leading into winter, we typically experience colder mornings and frost on the exterior parts of our home. This can result in some frozen outdoor plumbing and a major headache for homeowners. Save yourself time, money, and stress by turning off your outdoor sprinklers and hoses. Be sure that you drain any excess water from your hoses to reduce the risk of freezing, which can ultimately damage the hose. 3. Winterize Your Air Conditioner Fall is a great time to save money on your energy bill. It’s not quite cold enough to turn your heat on, but it’s nice enough to catch a decent breeze from outside rather than turning your air conditioner on. As the weather begins to cool off in the coming weeks, you’ll want to crack open those windows and cover up your air conditioner to ensure you don’t lose any internal heat or air through its vents. Covering your A/C unit is also a good practice to keep excess dirt and other contaminants from getting in over the winter. 4. Prep Your Furnace There is no time like the present, so don’t wait until it’s winter to dust off and power on your furnace for the first time. You will want to make sure it’s in working order and ready to effectively heat your home before use. There are a few steps you can take to prepare your furnace ahead of time. Perform a visual inspection of your furnace. Check for leaks, clean off any excess dust or debris, and survey the area around your furnace for any hazards. It’s also recommended that you have your furnace serviced by a heating professional at least once a year. 5. Inspect Your Windows and Doors Two common culprits of lost energy are your windows and doors. If you want to ensure that your home is energy efficient going into the new season, start by checking for any drafts in your home. If you have a draft coming from either windows or doors while shut, your heating equipment will need to work double time to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This would have a negative effect on your energy bill and result in uneven heating in different areas of your home. It is a good idea to perform a home energy audit in your home every year to prevent lost energy from leaks and malfunctioning equipment. Getting your home in shape for fall requires some determination, but you will be happy you took preliminary steps to avoid problems down the line. Most homeowners will continue to perform home improvements throughout the fall months in preparation for winter. Getting a head start will allow you to take advantage of all that upstate New York has to offer in the fall without worrying about home maintenance.