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  • Monica Singer

10 Things To Do Around The House This Fall

It’s that time of the year — The days are shorter and the nights are colder. Fall is Mother Nature’s way of reminding us that it’s a good time for change. The leaves change colors, the kids go back to school and the clocks go back. Fall is the perfect time of the year to make some changes around the house as well. Here are my 10 favorite tasks to do around the house this autumn:

1. Clean Your Gutters!

This is number one my list for a reason…Let’s just say, I learned this the hard way last winter. Cleaning out the gutters in the fall ensures that the water flows correctly to the downspouts, and doesn’t turn your front steps and sidewalks into wet, slippery dangerous zones. I know that no one loves to do this job, but it needs to get done once or twice a year. A few hours of work can prevent big problems later on.

2. Protect Your Outdoor Furniture And Equipment

It may not yet be right time to put everything away, but it is the perfect time to clean all of your outdoor furniture and gardening tools so they’re ready for storage over the winter months. Just because the table and chairs on your patio are labeled for outdoor use doesn't mean they should be left outdoors all winter. Rain and snow can cause wood to split. While plastic can become brittle and crack. Metal rusts. Wet cushions will grow moldy and smelly, so cover them with a tarp or even place them in trash bags and put them away for storage.

3. Fix Any Concrete Or Asphalt Cracks

This is a must do, especially if you live anywhere that snows or hits freezing temperatures. We all know that when water freezes it expands. When H2O gets into the cracks of your sidewalk, it will freeze, expand, and force the crack to open even wider. Over the winter months, the water that gets into those cracks will freeze and thaw numerous times. Causing your small cracks to turn into large cracks.

4. Know Your Heating System

The last thing you want is for your heating system to break down in the dead of winter. It doesn’t matter if you are a homeowner or a renter — It’s important to know the type of heating system you have in your home. Once you know your heating system, then it’s crucial that you make sure the machinery is well maintained. Check all filters, parts and keep up with any regular maintenance. Taking care of your heating system does more than just extend it's lifetime, it can also lower your monthly heating bills.

5. Clean The Fireplace & Chimney

If you use your fireplace in fall and winter, I recommend cleaning it sooner rather than later! Set aside a day to clean your fireplace, inspect the flue and check to make sure the doors and shields are sound. For those of you that love a DIY project here is a great link; How To Clean Your Chimney Guide. For those of you that don’t love getting your hands dirty or may not have the time, I recommend hiring a professional.

6. Check Your Doors & Windows

Survey around the house and look for any areas where the air could flow in or out, specifically any areas around the doors and windows! To test these areas, you could listen for any slight sounds, or use a piece of paper to see if it blows around or stays still. Other areas to check include, pipes, ducts and electrical outlets. All of these areas can easily be caulked and sealed, leaving your house warm and energy efficient within minutes.

7. Easy Ways To Insulate

Cold air definitely makes it impossible to get out of bed in the mornings. Here are a few ideas to make your house warmers: Swap out your light curtains for heavier curtains, open the blinds/curtains during the day to let the light in, seal your doorways, swap out your light comforter set to a heavy set, add a layer of insulation over your windows and last but not least, insulate your attic!

8. Cleaning Your Seasonal Clothes!

I started doing this last year and it made such a big difference. I pulled out all my winter stuff (clothes, decor, tools) and cleaned it all off before the season began. I swear it made the transition into the cold winter months so much easier! I washed all my sweaters and jackets ahead of time so I knew everything was clean. I feel like when my clothes, blankets or towels are stored for a long period of time, they get a weird “storage” smell to them. So this saved me the hassle of trying to figure out what was clean and what was dirty. Everything was clean and ready for winter!

9. Reverse The Direction Of Your Ceiling Fan!

So simple, yet so effective! If you live in Los Angeles or places in the world where it is really hot during the summer months then you will most-likely have a ceiling fan! With a simple flip of a switch, you can cut your heating costs by almost 10 percent. Life Hack: Ceiling fans have a "reverse" mode that changes the direction of the blades. In the summer you’ll want to have your fan blowing counter-clockwise rotation, to create a nice relaxing breeze. In the winter, you’ll want to have your fan blowing clockwise, to send the warm air down (since heat rising) and heat up your whole house.

10. Do An Annual Safety Check

There’s always a lot of little things that need to be done around the house. I like to make a list of things to check before winter comes to my doorstep. Here are my essentials: Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide monitors, remotes, clocks, flashlights and any additional gadgets around the house that require batteries. Create a family fire escape plan, or review the one you already have. Check out my last blog post about How To Make Your Home Fire Safe! Put together an emergency kit so you’re ready for any winter power outages. This is definitely a must if you live in California, since the state is doing rolling blackouts to prevent fires. Be prepared for anything and everything!

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