The changing of the seasons brings structure and rhythm to our year. It actually does the same for home maintenance and projects. After all, there are certain projects that just fit right in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. Given the inclement weather that’s coming, autumn is a particularly busy season. In this article, we’ll review some of the best home improvement and upkeep projects to tackle in the fall, and what you’ll need to know before you get started.
Schedule a tune-up and inspection for your heater
The leaves are falling. Winter is on its way. Your top priority should be ensuring that your home’s heating system is ready to carry you through the cold nights ahead. Call your locally trusted HVAC company to schedule a fall tune-up. By having a professional inspect your furnace or boiler in the fall, you’ll be far less likely to encounter major issues in the winter. As an added bonus, a tune-up can give your system an efficiency boost, saving you money on your electric or gas bills.
If your furnace is getting up there in years, talk to your technician during your tune-up about its projected lifespan. A new furnace is a major investment that you’ll want to be prepared to make. Your technician, who has now had a chance to review the system and inspect its vital components, should be able to give you an idea of its overall condition, performance, and when might be a good time to think about making the switch to a new system.
Clean out the gutters and take a look at the roof
There’s nothing like a beautiful autumn evening, as the last rays of sunlight bounce off the beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves remaining on the trees. All that beauty comes with a price, however. As leaves fall, they collect in your home’s downspouts and gutters, choking and clogging it with leaf litter. This can lead to significant problems in the winter when snow, ice, and rain arrive. Clogged gutters mean trapped water pooling on your roof, which can lead to the deterioration of both your shingles and roof’s structure.
In addition to regularly cleaning out your gutters and downspouts, fall is the perfect time to have a professional roofer out to your home to inspect your roof for any issues. After all, the best time to catch a potential problem is before your roof is covered in ice and snow.
This is especially pertinent if your home has an older roof. As roofing material ages, it less effectively shields the underlayment from the elements. Ultimately, this leads to roof leaks and other issues. If your roof needs to be replaced, it’s better to know and find that out now than to come to that conclusion months later after multiple, costly leaks have already occurred.
Upgrade your home’s windows
One of the best parts of winter—even for people who don’t really like the colder months of the year—is waking up in your warm home, looking outside, and seeing a fresh blanket of snow covering the world. Add in a cup of hot coffee or tea, and you’re set for a cozy Saturday morning. However, this idyllic scenario loses its luster when your home’s windows are old and failing. Instead of cozy warmth, you’ll feel a frigid draft as winter wind whips through leaky, loose frames. You won’t be able to get that look outside if your dual-frame windows have fogged up due to a broken seal.
Windows impact more than just your home’s aesthetics. They play a critical role in your energy-efficiency. Aging, single-pane windows are a major contributor to home energy waste, as are dual-pane windows with a leaky seal that has allowed moisture to get into the air pocket between the panes. If it feels as if there are rooms of your home that just never get warm, count how many windows it has. Your furnace could be struggling to just keep up with what’s being lost through them.
There are some steps you can take to improve this situation. As a stopgap measure, you can caulk around the window frame and seal things up the best you can. This will cut down on drafts and some heat loss, but won’t fix all the problems associated with older windows. The better bet, long-term, is to replace your older windows with dual-pane, energy-efficient ones. If you can get this project done in the fall before winter arrives, you’ll really maximize your energy savings this winter.
Work with a professional
Whether you’re strictly trying to get your home ready for winter or you’re looking to invest back into your home with some value-boosting upgrades, it might be a good idea to talk to a local contractor in your area. A home remodeling contractor, for instance, can consult you on the best renovation projects to take on, and when to start them. If you’re interested in finding more ways to save on your heating (and cooling) costs, talking to an energy audit specialist is a great idea, too.
About The Author: Lisa Davis is a content creator that enjoys writing about home improvement topics and helping homeowners improve their homes. Lisa has a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management and has been working within the home services industry for more than 10 years.
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