It is hot and steamy here in Florida, and I’ve been staying inside and keeping busy with projects and home maintenance. There are some things that I do each fall like changing filters, checking batteries in smoke detectors, CO monitor, etc. Because it’s so hot, I’m starting early this year. Depending on where you live in the country, most folks probably have a couple of months of good weather left before the temperature drops. That means now is a great time to create a plan and take some precautions in getting ready for the new season. Living in Florida, I don’t have to do a lot of autumn prevention like up north. When I lived in Michigan, there was a longer list to protect and maintain equipment before the snows came. Here are some basic tips for fall maintenance. I’m including a printable Fall Maintenance Checklist and Autumn Bucket List for fun. Some of these items may be done now, in September, or even October.
I. Check smoke detectors, CO monitors, fire extinguishers, and first aid kit
Annually protective monitors should be checked and any batteries should be changed. Other protections like the fire extinguisher have an expiration date and should be serviced when required. Review fire escape plans, and rid your home of old newspapers and other fire hazards.
II. Clean your chimney and fireplace
Fall fires and cozy throws are just around the corner. Clean your fireplace and look up the chimney for sooty buildup and blockages. Check that the damper is working. Call for a professional chimney cleaning when needed.
III. Check your windows & doors
Leaky doors and windows will keep your home colder and your energy bill higher. Seal cracks and leaks with weather-stripping, caulk, and foam. If you have storm windows, put the screens away and put up storm windows.
Window film is a cheap product that anyone can purchase online or at the hardware store. It only costs a few dollars, but it can make a massive difference to heat retention. The product is similar to the clingfilm people use for their sandwiches. The idea is to stretch it over the window pane covering all the joins and gaps. Then use a hair dryer or something similar to shrink the film into place. It should then create an airtight seal that prevents drafts and gusts of wind. That is essential for anyone who lives in an old house. Just search online for the best prices, and read the instructions.
FYI, if you live in an old house and you can hear the glass in the wooden windows rattle in the wind, you probably need to reglaze your windows. When I lived up north, I thought I needed new windows and kept the plastic up in the bedroom most of the year. Then a family member taught me to reglaze windows and what a difference! There is a video on reglazing old wooden windows on Popular Mechanics. Check it out!
IV. Inspect, repair or service the furnace
The last thing anyone needs is for their furnace to stop working when there is snow on the ground. Workers will charge a premium for performing repairs during the winter. So, it makes sense to employ their services during the summer before the temperatures drop. Furnaces might need care and attention for a variety of different reasons like:
- Dirty or clogged filters
- Mechanical wear and tear
- Ignition control issues
- Thermostat malfunctions
V. Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts
Prevent overflow by cleaning gutters. The weight of the leaves and dirt in the gutters can pull the gutter away from the house when it is full of water or snow.
VI. Inspect your roof
Go up on the roof or hire a professional to inspect at least once a year. Check for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing, or leaky vents. It’s better to do periodic maintenance than to wait until there’s leak in January.
VII. Cover the pipes with heat tape
There are many reasons people should cover pipework with heat tape during the winter months. First, the product should help to reduce the chances of cracks and leaks. The tape keeps the pipes warm, and so the liquid inside shouldn’t freeze or expand. It’s possible to purchase electric heat tape from most DIY stores these days. So, head into town and take a look around for the lowest prices. Heat tape should:
- Stop water from freezing and expanding
- Reduce the chances of cracks appearing
- Keep the pipework in pristine condition
VIII. Get your garden ready for winter
- Empty unused fuel and store your mower
- Drain and store hoses & sprinklers and turn off outside outdoor faucets
- Cover and/or put away outdoor furniture, a/c, and grills
Whatever you need to do, just create a plan and put it into action during the next
couple of months. It will help in ensuring the entire family is comfortable and stays
warm and cozy this winter.
Since we don’t want to miss any of the fall fun, here’s a matching bucket list for
those who want to plan for this wonderful time of year!
As with all my printables, they are for your personal use. Please do not post the image on your own site unless you link back here.
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25 thoughts to “Fall Maintenance Tips & Checklist With Autumn Bucket List”
It’s great that you’re still thinking that way even though you live down south. I’ve been thinking about cleaning fans and runners and filters lately as well.
Fall is when I change batteries each year and do other low power maintenance. My fall clean up in the yard is later than up north because we stay warm much of the year, but by the beginning of December there are lots of leaves from everyone on the street. I like to start the New Year with a clean yard.Fall is when I replace burnt plants from summer & cut back overgrown bushes. There’s always something to do no matter where you live.
The checklist is a great idea. It’s important to do those things. I generally change batteries out when daylight savings is, in the fall.
Yes I think most people do. Hope you find the checklist useful!
Good list – we can get cold weather where I live.
We are heading into our winter months now. Great list.
Planning fall projects is a great thing to do in the heat of the summer. Thanks for the great idea. I’ve started my list!
Our list is a little different in Arizona where we really don’t cool down until January, lol! But your tip of a garage clean out is definitely happening sooner rather than later!! Visiting from No Rules Weekend Party.
I understand – here in Florida we cool down a little end of Dec and January. Thanks for coming by!
This is such a great idea! Many of these things I don’t always think to do! Thanks for sharing!
What a useful checklist. I love the Autumnal months and of course there is so much prepping to do. I can’t believe my 7 year old informed me this morning that Christmas is only 141 days away! My bank balance is only just recovering from last year hehe!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend Carol and thanks for sharing with #MMBC x
That’s kids for you. My nephew is the same way. Have a lovely weekend!
What a great check list for fall! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
Thank you for sharing this great fall check list on Happiness is Homemade link party. I think that you have pretty much covered everything, including the fun part. That is fantastic. Shared and pinned.
Thanks for the pin Amy!
Great checklist Carol, I’ll have to save it for next time. Down here in the Southern hemisphere we can already see the first signs of Spring. The jasmines have started flowering and all the deciduous trees are covered in small buds just waiting to explode. Hope your Fall is a good one
Lucky you = I love each season but spring is my favorite. Life exploding everywhere. Have a beautiful day Michelle!
Great tips! Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty
These are great tips, and I have three fire fighting sons who would applaud your safety emphasis.
Thanks Michele – have a wonderful day
Awesome tips! Thanks for sharing with us at the To Grandma’s house we go link party – I’ll be featuring this tomorrow morning on my site when the new party starts!
Oh Tarah how exciting! Thanks – see you tomorrow.
Thank you I needed this!