8 Ways to Prep Your Home for Fall (and Winter)

It’s officially October, which means falling leaves, bonfires, spooky costumes – and the challenges of cooler weather. As we head into the fall and winter months, here are eight ways to prep your home:

Clean your gutters – Regularly cleaning gutters prevents water from leaking on your home, causing damage. It also prevents ice dams when temperatures drop below freezing.

Service your heating system – Before cranking up the heat, hire a technician to inspect your furnace to avoid any carbon monoxide leaks and ensure your system is running at peak efficiency.

Reverse your ceiling fans – Reversing the direction of your ceiling fans can help push the rising heat down into your rooms, which may mean you can reduce your thermostat by one or two degrees.

Check the seal on your windows and doors – Cold air and moisture can seep inside your walls through gaps around windows, doorframes and other openings into your home. Use caulk to fill any gaps larger than the width of a nickel.

Mulch your leaves – Why not take advantage of all those falling leaves? Instead of raking them, mulch them. The resulting compost gives your lawn nourishment.

Prepare your mower – If your fuel tank still contains gas, add stabilizer to it to protect the engine before storing your mower for the winter.

Double-check your fireplace – Fall and winter are the perfect seasons to gather around the hearth in front of a roaring fire. Make sure your fireplace damper opens and closes properly, and that the flue is free of obstructions. Also, double-check your firebox for damaged or missing bricks or mortar, or hire a chimney sweep to do the job.

Turn off exterior faucets and sprinklers – Use exterior faucets with freeze-proof faucets, or disconnect garden hoses and drain all the water in exterior pipes to avoid freezing pipes, which burst as the ice in them expands.

By following these few short tips, you can ensure your home is ready for fall and winter. And visit our homeowners page for more information about how a policy can help further protect your home. Bring on the cozy fireplace days!