Fall Season Prep- keep utility costs down as the temperatures go down

Have you been on the internet lately? I have and I've been getting bombarded with pumpkin, fall, sweater weather everything. A sun loving gal like myself isn't the most thrilled but I am getting excited. Before I dive into the prettier aspects of this new season upon us, I wanted to do the right thing as a homeowner and make sure my home is actually ready for the inevitably cooler weather coming. Fall prep will save us all a few headaches later in the season.

How To Keep Utility Costs Down As The Temperatures Go Down

Service Your Furnace

Easily the most recommended project this time of year is having the furnace serviced. And you really should! Just like a car and oil changes, having a pro come out and service your furnace helps it run better, more efficiently and extends it's life. This post is in partnership with Rheem, a manufacturer of furnaces, air conditioners, hot water heaters and more. If you need a new furnace, here are some tips for choosing a furnace from Rheem.

Reseal Around Doors & Windows

This isn't a set it and forget it task. Ideally with every season, you'll inspect the caulk and seal around your windows and doors. Ensure the caulk is still in good condition and that any seals are still functioning properly. Do the same with weatherstripping. Don't have any? It's time to install some!

While you're doing this, also give the exterior of your home a good inspection. Cracks and gaps around doors and windows aren't the only places cold air can creep in and warm air out. Here are some places to check:
  • Around heating and/or cooling units.

  • The seal around room air conditioners.

  • At corners formed by siding.

  • Openings around drain pipes in bathrooms and kitchens.

Inspect Your Roof

I don't want to find out I have a problem with my roof when there's a few inches of snow atop it. And I don't want you to find out that late either. While the weather is still pleasant, pull out a ladder and get on your roof. Make sure the shingles are still in good condition, that none are missing and that everything is laying flat as it should. If you don't know what you're looking for, most handymen will take a look for a small fee.

Clear Gutters Of Debris (and ensure they're working properly)

I'll attempt to scare you again with the idea of snow destroying your home. Imagine we're halfway through winter, warmer weather should be here in just a short bit of time but we're getting hit with a snow storm at the present moment. If your gutters are blocked, all that snow will have nowhere to go when it starts to melt. This is very bad!

While you've got that ladder out from checking on your roof, clean out those gutters. Make sure the downspouts are working right too.

Drain and winterize outdoor faucets, hoses, water storage containers, sprinkler systems, etc.

Water expands when it freezes, did you know that? Water in garden hoses, pipes or water collection barrels will expand when it freezes. These containers will crack or burst at any weak points when this happens. A busted pipe is not the kind of repairman bill you want to see. Let's not see one, okay? Drain and store it all.

Winterize Lawnmower

This is a new one for me! I had wondered if I was missing something for my lawn mower. I use a lot of manual lawn tools but I do use a gas powered lawn mower. I knew that gas sitting was bad, but that's as much as I knew! Apparently best practice is to drain the fuel or add a fuel stabilizer.

Prepare Air Conditioners for Dormancy

Vacuum internal parts of air conditioners. Take down window units or cover outside box with a tarp or plastic air conditioner cover in order to prevent rusting of the internal parts.

Prune Landscaping

Preparing your existing landscaping for the colder months will make getting the beds tip top condition for spring easier. Plus, you'll want to make sure everything is cut back so animals and bugs don't have an easier time making your home theirs.
Hopefully you've found these tips helpful! I know in my research I found a few new things to add to my routine. What's the first thing you'll be tackling?

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