Fall is here and you will love it. Summer’s tail is almost about to disappear behind the cool incoming winds of fall. The days are getting shorter and the cooler nights are on the horizon.
The plants prepare for the incoming cooler air by starting to change color and shed their leaves. Some animals prepare for the cooler days by shedding their fur and storing away foods.
Even merchants prepare for the cooler months by changing the look and feel of their stores to reflect the change in season.
So how will your home prepare for the cooler days that are ahead? Below, I have compiled a list of things that homeowners can do to help usher in the new season of fall in Atlanta.
1. Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning your gutters is one of the most important things that you can do to help your home prepare for fall and the cooler and unpredictable days that are ahead.
As the leaves fall off deciduous trees, particularly if you have trees hanging over your house, you want to frequently remove the leaves and dislodged shingles from your gutters.
A poorly functioning gutter system is worse than a house without gutters. Keep your gutters functioning properly by frequently checking to make sure that they are free of debris. This will prevent them from overflowing when it rains.
Water deposited near the foundation of your home can lead to a host of other issues. Some of these issues include flooding of lower parts of the home as water may enter areas like crawlspaces and basements.
Water near the home can also cause or encourage a microclimate near your home that may result in pests such as ants and termites taking up residence near your home.
Additionally, water settling near home may cause uneven settling and potential foundation issues in the future.
A well functioning gutter will make sure that water is deposited as far away from the home as possible.
2. Seal Doors and Windows
Doors and windows make up a large portion of your home’s envelope. For a typical home, windows and doors make up between 15% and 20% of the typical home.
Having holes and gaps in the doors will create a highway for cool air to enter the home and conditioned air to leave the home. This is a tremendous waste of money and resources. Caulk or spray foam gaps around windows and doors to increase their efficiency by preventing air leakage.
3. Protect Your Hoses
As the temperature dips, most of the grasses that cover the lawns in Georgia go into dormancy.
As the temperature cools, your grasses and plants are going to need less water. Therefore, you can stow away your hose to prevent it from freezing and bursting if the temperature freezes during winter months.
5. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you have not already done so, it may be a good idea to configure your thermostat to automatically adjust based on the time of the day.
Some of the modern thermostats are classified as learning thermostats. Some of them will actually automatically adjust based on the time of the day and the month of the year after they have learned your home’s temperature preferences.
6. Inspect Your Furnace
As you get into the cooler months, you will begin to use your furnace more. You do not want to have a breakdown in the middle of winter. You want to service your system and check to make sure that it is working properly before the blustery months come in.
Replace your filter to go into the new season, this is particularly true if your furnace uses the 1 inch pleated filters.
7. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
As the temperature cools, more people will be using space heaters. Particularly for homes that have gas fireplaces, you want to make sure that your smoke and fire detectors are working properly. That way, if there is a carbon monoxide buildup, the carbon monoxide alarm will sound the alarm.
8. Add Insulation to the Attic and Basement
As the temperature cools, this is the best time to do work in the attic. You can add additional insulation in the attic space and basement to help the home remain comfortable as the temperature cools.
9. Seal Cracks and Gaps in your Home
As the temperature cools, critters such as squirrels are going to be looking for a nice warm and cozy space to live during the colder days and nights ahead.
Do squirrels know the difference between a warm den and a warm attic? Do not allow your attic to be an inviting space for critters.
Do not allow openings in your home such as holes in the facia board, drip edge and so forth to provide a highway for critters to enter your attic and other areas of your home. If your home has overhanging trees, you may want to cut those back and much as possible to discourage squirrels and other critters from seeing it as a playground.
10. Update Your Family’s Emergency Plan
Despite the fact that home fires can occur at any time, home fires tend to rise during the fall and winter, with December and January being the months with the most risks for home fires. Additionally, Saturday and Sunday have higher rates of home fires, which typically peak between 6:00 and 7:00 PM (American Red Cross ).
Make sure that there is a plan to address how different members of the family will respond if there is a fire in the home.
Fall is Here, You’re Now Ready for it!
As fall approaches, it is important that you get your home ready for cooler and freezing months that could eventually affect your financial position. Worse yet, you could end up with a very uncomfortable winter season if you are not prepared for the milder fall months.
American Red Cross. (n.d.). Home Fires: America’s Biggest Disaster Threat. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from https://www.redcross.org/content/dam/redcross/atg/PDF_s/Preparedness___Disaster_Recovery/Disaster_Preparedness/Home_Fire/FireFAQs.pdf
PennState College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. (n.d.). Windows and Heat Loss. Windows and Heat Loss | EGEE 102: Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from https://www.e-education.psu.edu/egee102/node/2017#:~:text=Windows%20typically%20occupy%20about%2015,home%20heating%20and%20cooling%20costs.