A new season means a new to-do list for your home. With cold winter months just around the corner, October is the time to button up your house for the season—and our list of fall must-dos will help you cross all the important projects off your list to keep your home cozy and comfortable.
Get Your Yard Ready
Long summer nights in the backyard are quickly becoming a distant memory. From gardening to storage to basic maintenance, it’s time to get your yard ready for winter.
Fall is the perfect time to plant new trees and perennials (an added bonus: you can often score good deals at garden centers at the end of the season!); put in spring bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinth and crocus; and reseed your lawn. Cut back peonies, hostas, daylilies, and irises; leave other perennials intact to protect the plants during the winter.
Leave the leaves. Instead of raking up autumn leaves, Give Your Rake a Rest. Instead, run fallen leaves over a few times with your lawn mower to turn them into mulch that will decompose and nourish your lawn over the winter.
Winterize outdoor water spigots by turning off the water supply to your outdoor faucet and turning the spigot to “on” to drain any water left in the pipes. Install a Frost King Faucet Protector over all spigots for extra insulation and to keep cold air from seeping into your home. Roll up hoses and store them for the winter.
Get Your Fireplace Ready
Nothing beats cuddling up in front of a blazing fire in your fireplace on a cold winter’s night. Routine maintenance every fall can make sure your fireplace or wood-burning stove is ready to do its work safely.
Schedule an inspection and cleaning of your fireplace by a certified chimney technician to clear any built-up soot or creosote that could cause a chimney fire. (Newer homes with vent-free fireplaces often do not have a chimney, but you should still have the fireplace inspected and cleaned.)
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, stock up on firewood. Logs should be stored at least five feet away from your home’s foundation and should be elevated on a pallet or firewood rack so the wood is not resting on damp ground. Stack wood neatly, making sure it’s not packed too tightly – you want air flow around the logs to discourage fungus or rot — and cover loosely with a plastic tarp. Logs should not be stored indoors, as they will attract insects.
Get Your Heating System Ready
Whether your home is heated by a furnace, heat pump, or boiler, you should schedule a professional tune up and inspection of your home heating system to make sure it’s working properly.
Check and replace filters as needed.
Make sure registers are clean and free of debris. Move any furniture that blocks registers and prevents heat from reaching your living spaces, and install Heat and Air Deflectors on registers to distribute heated air more efficiently.
If your system has a whole-house humidifier, set the relative humidity to between 35% and 45% so the air in your home doesn’t get too dry.
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, consider installing one so you can adjust the temperature when you are not home. The Department of Energy estimates that you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.
Get Doors and Windows Ready
The Department of Energy estimates heat gain and loss through windows is responsible for 25-30% of your home’s energy use. Weatherproofing can help seal gaps and keep more heated air inside, helping save on your home energy costs and make your home more comfortable.
Reduce heat loss through windows by installing Frost King’s Window Insulation Shrink Kits, which feature a crystal clear plastic sheet that shrinks tight and wrinkle-free with an ordinary handheld hairdryer. Watch this video for step-by-step installation directions:
Seal air leaks around windows and doors to reduce drafts. Frost King has an array of weatherstripping products to stop drafts around windows and doors and make your home more comfortable. This video can help you choose the right weatherstripping for your job:
Electrical sockets — outlets and light switches — on exterior walls can be a sneaky source of heat loss. Frost King’s Socket Sealers are an easy fix. They slip into place easily behind the face plate of the outlet or switch and are completely invisible. This video shows you how to install them: