Autumn can be a great time of year. The weather starts to get a little bit cooler, the leaves start to change color, and the holidays are just around the corner. However, autumn is also a great time to get an early start on chores around the house, especially if you live in an area that’s likely to see a lot of frost and snow in the coming months.
Clean Out the Gutters
One of the first things you should do is clean out the gutters. Very few people enjoy cleaning out the gutters, especially when they’re heavily clogged with leaves and other debris. However, it’s a good idea to clean out the gutters to prevent damage during the winter. Clogged gutters can lead to ice dams in the winter or roof problems later on, and it’s a lot more pleasant cleaning them on a sunny Fall day that in the middle of a winter ice storm.
Check On Your Heating System
Additionally, checking your heating system is another important chore that you shouldn’t put off if you want to remain warm this winter. If you need to service the heating system, autumn is the time to do it as many companies run “early bird” specials when they still aren’t busy. If you put off checking and servicing your heating system only to find yourself without heat during the colder months, it’s going to cost a lot more to have someone come out and check your system, if you can even get one to come out in a reasonable amount of time. This is definitely something that should be high on autumn your chore list.
Fertilize the Lawn
Fertilizing the lawn is also a great chore to get done in autumn. A lot of people don’t think about fertilizing their lawn until spring rolls back around, but you should think about fertilizing in autumn instead. Fertilizing your lawn in the autumn allows the nutrients to decompose and strengthen your grass throughout the winter.
Cultivate and Prep Your Garden
Like fertilizing your lawn, cultivating and prepping your garden is a great autumn chore. This is the time to mulch and prune your shrubs and trees, as well as rake up any fallen leaves. You can even plant and store bulbs for spring or reseed bare spots in your lawn that will be ready to grow again once spring comes.
Clean Your Chimney
Similar to cleaning out your gutters, you should also think about cleaning out your chimney. For one thing, you don’t want a clogged chimney as that creates a dangerous fire hazard. For another, having a dirty, clogged chimney can create a host of other problems that could be very expensive to fix down the road. Clean out the chimney months before you think you’ll have to use it to try and avoid any potential problems.
Seal Window or Door Drafts
Make sure you check and seal any drafts around your windows or doors. This is a good idea for a variety of reasons, but mostly because you don’t want hot air escaping and cold air entering the house once you turn on your heat. If you have a draft, your heating system will work harder to heat the house and cost you a lot more money. Sealing window or door drafts is a chore you should definitely look into this autumn.
Check Insulation on Pipes
You should also think about checking the insulation on pipes, both externally and internally. Freezing temperatures can be very harmful to your pipes, especially if you live somewhere that sees extremely cold, frigid temperatures. The last thing you want is for your pipes to freeze because they’re not properly insulated.
Clean Carpets, Drapes, and Blinds
Even though autumn is still a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors and indoors, it means that winter is right around the corner and that you’ll be spending most of your time inside. Since most of the next few months will be spent inside, it’s important to thoroughly clean your carpets, drapes, and blinds. A lot of people don’t clean these items as often as they should, but it’s a good idea to get the dust mites and bacteria out of the carpets or drapes before winter comes.
Clean and Store Outdoor Appliances and Furniture
If you have a lot of outdoor furniture or appliances, it’s also a good idea to clean and properly store them. You don’t want to leave them unattended and accidentally ruin them when an early frost comes. If you’re planning on keeping them outside for the winter, make sure you have some heavy duty covers that will protect them from the elements. You don’t want to be underprepared and have to buy new appliances and furniture come springtime.
Clean Indoor Appliances
It’s also a good idea to clean and service all your indoor appliances such as your refrigerator or washing machine. Because you’ll be spending more time inside, there’s a higher chance that there will be more dust mites floating around that may get caught in the filters of your appliances. You want to make sure you’re prepared for winter, as well as make sure that all your appliances are running smoothly with no signs of potential damage.
(Photo courtesy of Malcolm Browne)