9/18/13

Fall Preparation Checklist

Fall is coming and it's time to get ready for seasonal changes in your yard and in your home. You don't want to be caught unaware, so here is a handy checklist to help you prepare for fall.
  1. Plant spring bulbs now. This is the time to plant spring bulbs, before the first frost. You'll want to get out there while the weather is still nice so you can enjoy the planting. Trim bushes and low tree limbs in the fall too.
  2. After you complete the last lawn moving of the year, treat your yard with some winterizing fertilizer. It will make a huge difference next spring. Adding a dusting of ironite to the lawn will also ensure it turns a healthy shade of green next year. 
  3. Clean your chimney. Many autumn fires begin in a dirty chimney. If you're unsure how to clean your chimney, make a small investment and hire a chimney sweep. There are also special logs you can buy that help to clear out residue from last year's fires.
  4. Stock up on wood now before it gets too expensive. If you wait to purchase wood on the first cold day from the old guy at the side of the road with a trailer, you're going to pay a premium. 
  5. Seal cracks around windows and doors. This is actually very simple to do with tubes of caulk and a caulking gun, or even with a hand-held squeeze tube of caulk. Be sure to do it both inside and outside of windows and doors for a secure seal. 
  6. Get a full heating maintenance check-up for your HVAC unit. The folks at McQuerry’s 24-Hour Heat and Air in Wildwood, MO, recommend you replace your heat and air conditioning filters at least once every 2-3 months. We try to change our filter every month when we pay the bill. It's always better to spend the money maintaining a working heater than to face a huge expense if it breaks down on a very cold Saturday night.
  7. If your air conditioner has already been turned off for the year and you're enjoying the open windows and fall breezes, take some time one early morning and turn on the heat to blow out the dust that settles in the air ducts when nothing is running. 
  8. Check and or change the antifreeze in your vehicles, especially if you live in an area where it drops below 30 degrees on a regular basis. This is also a good time to change the air filter in your cars.
  9. Get your swimming pools ready for winter. Whether yours is an above-ground or in-ground pool, you'll want to make sure you've followed manufacturer directions so you can use that pool again next year with minimum expense and work.
  10. Pack away the summer clothes and take an inventory of clothes needed for the family. Shop the sales and second-hand stores for great deals. This is also the time to have a last-minute garage sale to get rid of outgrown clothing and unused items. Use the garage sale income for new coats for everyone in the family!
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