Fall is in the air and there are only a few months until winter arrives, which is why September is the perfect month to wrap up any lingering warm weather projects and get your house ready for imminent cold weather, rain, and snow. Here are 10 important projects to tackle this month, so that when the leaves change colors and the temperatures drop, you can rest easy with a cup of apple cider knowing your house is in good shape for the coming months.
Inspect Your Furnace
The last thing you want is for your furnace to suddenly stop working in the middle of a January blizzard, which is why you should get your furnace serviced every fall before the cold weather comes. While you can do things like changing the filter, cleaning excess dust, and checking the pilot light on your own, a professional will ensure your furnace is running at peak performance, which will save you money on your electric bill. A pro will also also check to make sure there aren’t any health hazards, like carbon monoxide leaks, inspect the electrical connections, lubricate moving parts, and clean everything, all of which will prolong the life of your system.
Check Your Roof
Thanks to rain, snow, and ice, winter can be the toughest season on your roof, which is why you want to make sure everything is in tip-top shape before the worst of the weather comes. Now is the time to check for loose, missing or broken shingles and cracked, worn rubber boots around vent pipes, and any signs that you may have a leak. The end of September is also a good time to clean leaves from the gutters (you may need to do it once more in early November. If you have any concerns at all about the condition of roof, you should get a professional in as soon as possible in order to prevent the damage from spreading.
Organize Your Garage and Shed
It’s easy for garages and sheds to fall into a bit of disarray during the summer months since that’s where you probably store sporting equipment, bikes, the lawnmower, garden tools, and more. It’s not a fun task, but mild fall days are the perfect time to purge everything you don’t want or use (have a yard sale!), clean everything you’re keeping, and get organized.
Plant Bulbs in Your Garden
In order to have gorgeous flowers in the spring, you need to plant them at the right time in the fall. Bulbs should be planted about six weeks before the ground freezes so that they have time to root and establish themselves. That being said, you also don’t want to plant them too early as that can lead to disease or bulbs that sprout early. When the temperatures drop to the 40 to 50 degree range at night, that’s a good time to get those bulbs in the ground.
Prep Your Lawn Mower for Winter Storage
You may need to mow your lawn throughout most of the month, but come the end of September, it will probably be time to put your mower away for the winter. Before you do that, you should remove the battery, give it a good cleaning, and either drain the fuel or add a fuel stabilizer. Finally, you want to store it in a dry place (and never next to a furnace, water heater, or any appliance with a pilot light). This is also a good time to clean any weed trimmers or hedge clippers you won’t be using for the winter so that everything is in good working condition come spring.
Weatherize Your Windows
Applying weatherstripping and/or caulking around your doors and windows is a fairly easy maintenance job, but also very important in that it will prevent heat from escaping or, even worse, water from getting in and freezing which can result in cracks and mold.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
During the summer, your fans move counterclockwise, which pushes air down to make you feel cooler. In the fall, you should switch your fan blades to turn clockwise, so that the cool air is drawn upward, which allows the warm air to stay low. This will keep not only keep you warmer, but will also save you money on your electric bill, as you only need to have your fan running at the lowest speed to feel an impact.
Get the Chimney Inspected
It’s important to get your chimney inspected once a year for performance issues, pests who may have built nests, and, if necessary, to get it cleaned in order to get rid any soot and creosote accumulation, which can fuel a chimney fire. Pros say the best time to do this is before the start of the burning season. This may be one chore you’re tempted to put off until next year, but not only can waiting end up costing you more in repairs, it can also be dangerous. Fall is also a good time to stack your firewood so your woodpile is ready when the temperature drops.
Trim Hazardous Tree Limbs
You don’t want to prune branches in the fall because it’s not good for the overall health of the tree; however, you do want to make sure that any dead, broken, or hazardous limbs are removed before the winter storms move in as those can break off and cause major damage to your home.
Buy New Appliances
While buying new appliances isn’t “essential,” if you’re in the market for a new washer, dryer, stove, or dishwasher, September is the time to buy. Manufacturers tend to release their new models this month, which means you can get really great discounts on last year’s models. The one notable exception is refrigerators; new models come out in May, which makes spring the best time to get a good deal.