Fall is definitely in the air. The evenings and mornings are crisp, there is a hint of golden color creeping into the aspen groves, and the scrub brush is showing brilliant orange colors. All of this tells us that Old Man Winter is lurking just around the corner.
If you’re a homeowner in a cold weather climate, there are a few things that you should either do or have done before the snow flies. This is not a comprehensive list, but it’s a great place to start.
1) Check your gutters, and clean them of any dead leaves or debris.
2) Drain your hose bibs (or install the kind of hose bib that has a back flow prevventer), and have your sprinkler system blown out. These can freeze during the winter, and sometimes the first sign of a problem is water pouring into your home.
3) Place some mousetraps around the garage or house. This is the time of year when furry critters start to get cold as well, and they would be very happy to move into your cozy abode.
4) Fertilize your lawn. The snow will melt in the spring, and will get those nutrients deep into the roots.
5) Got leaves? Don’t rake them, mulch them with your lawn mower! They’ll nourish your lawn all winter.
6) Get your heating system tuned up. Have a professional come in and inspect your boiler. If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, then this one is a priceless nugget of information. Better to get it tuned up, than to have it fail during a cold spell when you’ll be about 80th in line to get someone out to look at it.
7) If you have ceiling fans that can be reversed, flip that switch! Heat rises, and by reversing the direction on your fans, you’ll be pushing the warm air down into the living areas of your home.
8) Check out your winter gear. Is your snowblower working? Sure, you might feel a bit silly powering up your snowblower in September, but you’ll look mighty smart to your neighbors after the first big snow and you have the only functioning machine in the neighborhood. Do you know where your shovel is?
9) Stow the outdoor gear. Put the umbrella away, stow the chair cushions somewhere warm and dry. If you won’t use it during the winter, put it somewhere away from the elements. Snow, ice and wind are all tough on outdoor furniture and accessories.
10) Insulate exposed piping. If you have any plumbing pipes that are on an exterior wall, wrap them in a little insulation. This can pay huge dividends during a freeze.