The chill is in the air and it’s time to start taking fall home maintenance measures to prepare for the change of season. Just like with spring cleaning, proper home care calls for a bit of sprucing up and preparation for the autumn and winter climates. Colder, wetter weather in the Northwest requires a little extra attention from you, the homeowner, in order to keep your house in top-notch condition all year-round.
Follow these five steps this fall to ensure a stress free seasonal transition:
- Clean the Gutters
The giant green trees in the Pacific Northwest are known not only for their beauty throughout the spring and summer, but also for the array of colorfully cascading leaves that pile up in the crisp, cool air of autumn. As a result, your gutters can become clogged, which can and will lead to drainage issues during the rain and snowstorms of winter. Once most of the leaves have fallen from the trees surrounding your home, pull out your ladder and carefully remove any debris from your rooftop gutters, as well as any leaves blocking the downspouts.
- Clean the Fireplace and Chimney
It’s been a while since you’ve lit the tinder and listened to the warm crackling of wood burning in the fireplace, which means it’s also likely been a while since the area has been cleaned. To ensure that your fireplace, flue, and chimney are working properly for the cold months to come, sweep and vacuum the accumulated soot from last year. This can be a messy job, so feel free to do some research in order to hire an expert who can help with the dirty work.
- Check the Heating System
On the same note, it’s wise to have your furnace cleaned and inspected by a pro in the industry, just to ensure you’re ready to flip the switch upon the onset of the first cold snap. Often you can find great deals for furnace cleaning and system checks through discount and coupon websites like Groupon. Try asking your realtor for a recommendation as well, since most home sales require furnace inspections. He or she should have some great suggestions on who to call.
- Store Air Conditioners
If you’re one of the lucky ones with central AC, this may not be much of an issue for you. Simply change the setting to heat when the time comes. However, if you’re one who has been sitting in front of the stand-alone swamp cooler or window AC unit throughout the steamy heat of summer, rest assured that the new season no longer requires your unit to be “on display.” Pack up your AC and put it away in storage for next year. (Be sure to clean the filters too, so you’re all set for next summer!)
- Stock Your Pantry
While in the spring and summertime we often rid ourselves of clutter and clean out the cupboards, the autumn and winters seasons are those of bounty. We eat out less and hunker down at home a little more, which is why it’s important to make a list of pantry staples and stock up so that we have just what we need on hand to simmer some hot apple cider or milk chocolate with marshmallows on the stove, or whip up a pot of soup on a particularly damp and dreary day. Whole grains, dried beans and peas, winter squash, potatoes, and dried herbs, along with a few liters of vegetable or chicken stock and a can or two of tomatoes are essential for the preparation of soups and stews.
Be prepared for the coming season. Welcome the crisp, cool air of autumn as you prepare your house for the months to come and guarantee your dwelling place remains a gem for years to come.