Your Fall Cleaning Checklist
For some, fall is the best time of year. It’s a time for pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, refreshing walks through the leaves, and gorgeous trees as the leaves change color. Between enjoying all that pumpkin spice and colorful foliage, it’s also a great time to check off some cleaning to-do’s. I like to call this the “everything you ever wanted to know about fall cleaning guide.” Cleaning and caring for both the inside and outside of your home can save you both time and money in the long run. Let’s get to it!
Air Conditioner Hibernation
Once the A/C is no longer needed, you should perform some simple maintenance to get it ready for the colder months. Pull any leaves that are stuck in the grate, and pick up any twigs or debris in the area as well. Use a hose to wash off dirt and allow it to fully dry. Check for any cracks or loose seals (if snow and/or ice gets in, it can do permanent damage). If you find anything like this, contact a professional before winter arrives!
Oh, and most obviously (but most importantly), make sure the A/C unit is completely off. Some manufacturers even recommend pulling the power so it doesn’t accidentally turn on during an unseasonably warm day.
Leaves, Leaves, Leaves Everywhere
Have you ever wondered, as you (or your resident raker) rake up all of those fall leaves for the hundredth time, “Why do we have to do this”?!
As leaves fall off trees, they pile up pretty fast onto the grass. If there’s a really thick layer of leaves that keep the sun from reaching the grass – sunshine is important even during winter months – your lawn could be in trouble next spring. So yes, if there are leaves all over the place, you should really rake or use a leaf blower (they’re surprisingly affordable).
It’s really important to water evergreen plants. Sprinkle them with love before the first snowfall, because they lose moisture really easily otherwise. A burlap shield wrapped around trees and shrubs will do wonders to shield from cold winter winds.
Doors and Windows
These are two of the BIGGEST culprits for letting in drafty outside air. If they’re not sealed well, you will be able to feel, and even hear, the wind coming in through them (and your heating bills will also feel it). An even easier way to tell if drafts are in your house is to light a candle. Move it around all the windows and doors. Wherever it flickers, there’s a draft that needs attention. Seal the window gaps with caulking or foam sealant and watch those savings roll in! For gaps around doors, a good weatherstrip is the way to go.
On cold nights, it’s so lovely to curl up in front of a roaring fire. But, like anything else, fireplaces require a fair bit of maintenance. Whether your fireplace is gas, electric, or wood-burning, they need to be cared for, usually once a year. Consider having them looked over by a professional once every year to make sure everything is working as it should. Not taking care of your fireplace can result in expensive repairs and rebuilds.