The dog days of summer have already drawn to a close, which only means one thing: it’s fall. Even if the temperatures haven’t yet dropped alongside the leaves, pumpkin spice is back to let you know it’s here.
Whether you love it or hate it, the flavor does do you a favor. It reminds you that it’s time to get your home ready for the season.
Preventative fall maintenance is important, but who wants to tackle a long list of chores when you have lattes to drink? Well, you might change your mind when you see the cost savings of the following tasks:
Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts
Keeping your gutters free of leaves and debris isn’t the most glamorous job, but it’s an important one. It prevents water damage from ruining your landscape and the foundation of your home.
Left unchecked, gutters and downspouts won’t be able to move water from your roof properly. Instead, it falls straight off the roof and forms a pool of water near the foundation.
This might damage your basement walls and cause leaks. Repairing this damage can cost up to $10,000, so it’s a job worth donning your gloves for — just be careful on your ladder!
Make a Draft Stopper
Here’s a job for all those socks missing their mate after a spin in the dryer. A draft stopper rests along windowsills and doors to stop cold drafts from blowing into your cozy living space. Simply stitch a couple of socks together to make a tube and fill it with stuffing.
It also stops the hot air your furnace has heated from escaping your home, a move that may save you 10–20 percent of your heating bill!
Call Your HVAC Specialist
Speaking of your furnace, it’s gearing up for its busiest time of year, so calling your local heating professional is a good idea. They’ll be able to catch any minor problems before they cause an expensive breakdown.
Of course, this means you’ll have to pay for a tune-up — making this job an investment. You’ll have to funnel some cash into the project before you see any savings, but much less than a major repair would cost.
Depending on your finances, you have to decide if it’s something you can afford or if you should look into a personal line of credit for help. Before you call up a professional, check this out to see if a personal line of credit is the right option for these repairs.
Take a look at the sealing around your windows and doors. If you see gaps, cracks, or other damage, they could be leaking more air than your draft dodger can stop. A fresh coat of caulking, or replacing weatherstripping outright, can plug these leaks.
It’s a relatively simple and affordable task that won’t take too much time, yet it promises 10–20 percent in energy savings
Insulate Your Pipes
Even your pipes get cold during the winter. Sub-zero temperatures wreak havoc when pipes aren’t properly insulated, and they may cause them to freeze, burst, and flood your home.
Avoid the massive bill of a flooded basement by making sure to cover water supply pipes and any other pipes exposed to unheated spaces. Your local hardware store should have materials you can wrap around your pipes to keep them cozy and warm.
When it comes to the way you spend your time, home maintenance probably doesn’t score high on your list of things to do. But just remember all the money you’ll save by tackling these chores before Old Man Winter arrives. Let that motivate you to take on these seasonal tasks and get your home ready for fall.