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Is your home prepared for Fall weather?

Fall is here, meaning cooler temperatures, leaves turning colors, restaurants & coffee shops debuting pumpkin-spice flavors. In the home, it’s all about transitioning from the hot summer months to a warm and cozy living space. What better time than now to start prepping your home for the cooler weather to come? We’ve gathered some important home maintenance tasks to get you and your home ready for the next season.

1. Reverse your ceiling fan

Here is something you may not know - warm air rises up to the ceiling fan while cool air stays close to the ground. If you reverse the way your ceiling fan runs, then the warmer air will be pushed down while the cool air is forced up.. Science!

2. Clean your gutters

As beautiful as Autumn may seem, having clogged gutters due to leaves, branches or debris may not be as beautiful. If rain gutters are blocked they can overflow, causing unwanted flooding and damage to your home. So, grab your ladder and clean those gutters out!

3. Clean your fireplace & chimney

If it's been a few years since your last chimney cleaning, now's a good time to schedule one. Fireplaces and chimneys should be cleaned annually and inspected about every 50 burns. Creosote and soot buildup in the chimney flue is dangerous and can cause an uncontrollable chimney fire. Before you fire up your fireplace this season, make sure it’s clean and ready to go!

4. Check your smoke detectors

With furnaces turned on, windows closed and portable heaters humming, Fall is a great time to test your smoke and CO detectors. Check the batteries and their expiration dates - smoke detectors are good typically for 10 years and CO detectors for about 6 years. Once you've replaced the batteries, press the test button to ensure they are working properly! And remember, the law changed in Maryland in 2018 - all smoke detectors must be 10-year sealed battery units :) check with your local fire department to see if they can help you with the cost of upgrading your home's smoke detectors!

5. Check windows and doors for leaks

Because the weather will get colder, it is important to check the seals on your windows and doors. Your home could lose a lot of heat if there are leaks, causing your gas and heating bills to spike!

6. Store / Protect your outdoor furniture

Unfortunately, the season for backyard parties is coming to an end. To ensure next year’s parties are well-prepared for and that your furniture stays intact, you will want to make sure you store the furniture away or properly cover them.

7. Clean or change the filters

Heater and furnace filters trap dust that would otherwise be deposited throughout your home. Clogged filters make it harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. Try using a soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean the filters. A simple monthly cleaning is all it takes to keep your filters breathing free and clear!

8. Test your winter equipment

Fall is at our doorstep and winter isn’t too far behind. It’s a smart move to be prepared for whatever mother nature decides to throw at us this season. Avoid the hassle and check all your winter equipment now before realizing they don’t work. This is also a good time to stock up on things such as propane and firewood. A little bit of preparation can go a long way.