Late Summer and Early Fall Home Improvements
The mornings and evening are getting cooler but the days still have that lovely warmth of summer, it’s definitely Indian Summer. This is the time of year that people start to follow the counsel of squirrels and racoons: we’re getting ready for winter. From installing new knotty alder doors to applying weather-stripping around doors and windows here is a list of the top ten warm weather winterizing activities.
#1 A New Door
If you’ve been losing money warming the outside air with a drafty old door it’s definitely past time to replace it. At Krosswood you can find a variety of styles, colors, and sizes to match your space and your style. Don’t wait until cold weather is already here, order and install your new door today. You’ll be saving money and staying cozy in just another few months.
#2 Clean Ducts and Registers
If you have forced air heating now is the time to make sure your ducts and heat registers are free of dust and debris. This isn’t an every year activity, but if it’s been 3-5 years since you’ve had it done you should consider calling in a professional to get rid of the natural build-up of dust in your system. This cleaning can help both health and heating bills.
#3 Clear Gutters and Down Spouts
With autumn rain and winter snow on the horizon it’s essential for homeowners to ensure that their gutter system can move the water away from their home effectively. Clogged gutters can cause water overloads around the foundation and basement of your home, which can lead to leaks and flooding, and an unsightly price tag to go along with cleaning it up. Cleaning gutters is easy and can save you a world of problems. Some leaf blowers have gutter cleaning attachments or a ladder and a pair of gloves always works!
#4 Weather Stripping for Doors and Windows
Hot air loss is one of the major causes of wasted heating bills, but it isn’t just a door left open too long that causes it. It’s that leaky door seal, loose window, and garage door draft that are the biggest culprits. Weather stripping is available in various widths and thicknesses to accommodate all of the areas of your home that need to be protected from air leaks.
#5 Replace Furnace Filters
Forced air furnaces should have their filters replaced every year. This small chore will help to extend the life of your HVAC system, help reduce dust in the air, and can make a difference in the cost of heating your home. Check and pull out your old filter while the days are still warm, make sure you install the correct size and brand for your system, and you’ll be all ready for the first day you need to turn up that thermostat.
#6 Cold-Prep the Outdoor Power Tools
Gas powered equipment, like a lawn mower and chainsaw, need to be winterized before sitting for the next few months of cold. A simple three-step process will keep your tools in tip-top shape while the cold weather sets in: top off the gas tank, replace the air filter, and remove the battery connections. These steps will help prevent rust, condensation in the engine, and loss of battery power. If you have a cover for your tools, just park them where you want to store them, cover them up and put them to rest for the winter.
#7 Winterize Your Lawn
Fall can actually be the best time of year to get the most growth out of your lawn. For cool season grasses this is the best time of year to fertilize and get a jump on springtime growth. The fertilizer will have all winter to impact the health of the grass roots and soil around them. If you have warm weather grasses don’t fertilize after September 1st as this can lead to growth that will be stunted too soon and damage the roots. If you’ve been fertilizing your lawn regularly throughout the summer, you might not need to do anything at all. When in doubt do a soil test to determine where your nutrient and pH levels are, and consult a landscaping expert about what kind of grass you have.
#8 Clear Irrigation System
If you have a built in lawn and garden irrigation system, you’ll need to prepare it for winter to avoid breakage and blow outs. Depending on your type of system you can either drain the pipes manually or you’ll need to clear the lines with compressed air. If you have a manual system just turn off the water supply to the lines, open all of the manual drain lines. Blowing out lines with compressed air ought to be done by a professional or someone with experience as injury or damage to your system can occur. If you are unsure which type of system you have consult a professional.
#9 Plant Bulbs
If you are thinking of adding tulips, daffodils, and other spring blooming bulbs to your landscaping, them now is the time to plant them. Check your zone requirements to determine which bulbs are best for your area, order your bulbs, and wait until the soil temperature cools before planting. It’s important to wait for the weather to cool a bit before putting the bulbs in the soil otherwise they may begin to grow out of season and be killed by the winter cold.
#10 Get Your Decorations Out!
The season of pumpkins, colored lights, and seasonal décor is almost upon us. To avoid the last minute search for last year’s lights and save yourself from buying the same strands over again, organize your decorations now and place them where you’ll be able to have easy access to them.