From cleaning the fireplace to inspecting the furnace, here are tips to getting your home in seasonal shape.
Clean behind the fridge:
Fall is a great time to defrost and clean your refrigerator and freezer, but do it the correct way. Also, make sure you pull the refrigerator away from the wall to vacuum the condenser coils. Use a long, narrow brush to clean dust off bottom-mounted coils.
Inspect the laundry room:
Check your dryer’s exhaust tube and vent for built-up lint, debris and even birds’ nests! Make sure the exterior vent is closed tightly when not in use.
Reset all your timers:
In addition to changing your clocks to standard time, double-check your thermostats, heat tapes(on water pipes and gutters) and furnace timers.
Inspect your furnace:
Don’t wait for the first frost! Save time and buy a winter’s supply of furnace filters now. To get maximum energy savings and ensure winter comfort, I change my filters monthly. I also schedule an annual checkup for my furnace now. (Hint: it’s best to schedule the appointment for three to four days after you begin running your furnace for the season, but check with your local service expert.)
Check smoke detectors:
Install smoke detectors if you don’t have them (mandatory for rental properties in many states/cities). Dust your smoke detectors and use canned air to clean the dust from the inside of your smoke detectors if there is any buildup. Consider adding a carbon-monoxide detector if you have a gas heating unit. You may want to change your smoke detectors twice a year, perhaps during time changes.
Do a rodent check:
Make an investigative sweep of your home for rodent entry points. Fall and winter are times when mice and red squirrels come inside in search of warmth. Check the areas where the chimney meets the roof, as well as under roof eaves and in cracks in masonry and cement.
Organize the garage:
Now is the time to install shelving if you need it. And get ready to bring in patio furniture and plants that can’t bear the frost. This is a good month to also give the garage a good overhaul by washing the floor, wiping down the walls with a broom to remove cobwebs and shining up the windows.