The first sign of fall for my home is when the windows start to close. I have a tendency to keep them open for the summer, allowing the warm breeze the flow through my world and carry me away. It’s dreamy. But when the days get shorter and the wind gets colder, the windows start to come down. I try to make it last as long as possible. I can usually make it to October. Closing the windows sets off a chain reaction. It’s a signal that there is more work to be done around the home with the changing of the seasons.
Remove AC Units
At some point you realize that you haven’t turned on the AC in a while. It’s a sad day, but the hot summer nights have passed. When taking out the units it’s a good opportunity to inspect them for any damage before storing them. Clean them off and tuck them away until next year.
All too often in old homes windows age and get to a point where they no longer operate smoothly. Windows can swell, and become hard to open. Or they don’t stay open when they do. If the window itself is an issue, try replacing it with an insert. You can replace a window without having to reframe it, leaving the trim intact. Chances are if it’s time to replace your window the newer insert will also have better insulating properties, helping to keep you more cozy when the snow starts to fall. If your windows aren’t closing tight it could be a simpler fix, often replacing the hardware can help. If nothing else, it’s worth a try.
It makes sense that the parts that see the most use take the most ware. Fortunately you can replace the weatherstripping in your home. A small project that can be a big fix.
You may not need to bring all the chairs in yet, but it’s a good time to look around and start thinking about the furniture you are going to store when things get really cold. Putting away what items you can now will only make the job easier later.
Make sure you shut off all the exterior faucets and store the hoses. There’s no need to risk a burst pipe or leave the hose outside to get ruined.
Walkways + Railings
These see a lot of use, and damage that may be fine in the summer time can often cause a hazard in the winter. Close up any cracks that water can get into and freeze. Make sure that your railings are sturdy for those icy mornings.
Long summer days make outdoor lighting seem less important. But as the days get shorter we rely on these lights more and more.
Radiators + Heating Vents
Soon enough it will be time to turn them on. Cleaning off the layer of dust and dirt that accumulates in their off season can help make things run smoothly when the day comes.
As the leaves change and fall, they have a tendency to accumulate. Keeping up with maintenance can prevent them from becoming clogged or cracking. Clean them out and inspect for any cracks that water can get into and freeze.
It’s a good idea to take stock of your home and see what needs to be fixed and what to keep an eye on. Check out our DIY home inspection. Keeping an eye out for problem spots can prevent little issues from becoming big ones, and help keep the integrity of your home intact.
The following is a true story, adapted from a 1921 edition of the American Journal of Ophthalmology...