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Tackling the Fall Check-List

Welcome to Fall in Indiana, where one day it can be 60 degrees and sunny, and the next day it’s 30 and rain or snow.  Fall is my favorite time of the year and in the small poll I conducted, it seems everyone’s favorite season is Fall. Now, in full disclosure, this poll was conducted on the way to take my daughter to school, and it was just her and I, so use those polling numbers at your own discretion.  I think it is true though, if you moved from the state, what season would you miss the most? I’m sure I’m going to have a few sick people reading this that would say Winter because of the snow and that’s fine! I like a day or two with snow as well. The beauty of the Indiana Fall season is we usually get a little snow, and that is just enough for me. 

Now weather aside, one of my favorite reasons I enjoy Fall is football season. While my beloved Chicago Bears might not always give me a reason to celebrate, Fall still gives me that hope that things could turn around if they are doing poorly. Or, better yet if they are doing well, it can make me optimistic for the future.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other thing about Fall that gets many of you very excited for the season: pumpkin spice everything.  Listen, I like it, but stop adding it to everything! Pumpkins should be carved on the porch or in a pie, not on everything they put it in. Okay, okay, the occasional pumpkin spice latte, because, come on I’m not an animal! I do enjoy those.

Every year I remind everyone to get your house Winter ready in the Fall, and this year is no different. Getting your home Winter-ready during the Fall is essential to ensure comfort and energy efficiency when the colder months arrive. Start by focusing on three key areas: insulation, heating system maintenance, and outdoor preparations.

First, check your home’s insulation. Proper insulation is like a warm blanket for your house, preventing heat from escaping and cold air from infiltrating. Check your attic, walls, and basement for any gaps or inadequate insulation. Seal any drafts around doors and windows using weatherstripping and caulk. Consider adding insulation if necessary to maintain a cozy indoor environment.

Second, schedule a professional inspection and maintenance for your heating system. A well-maintained furnace or heat pump operates efficiently and reduces the risk of breakdowns during the Winter. Change or clean the air filters regularly, and ensure all vents are free to flow air.

Third, cleaning out your dryer vents is an often overlooked but crucial step in preparing your home for Winter. Lint buildup in dryer vents not only reduces the efficiency of your dryer but also poses a fire hazard. During the Fall, take the time to disconnect the dryer from the vent and thoroughly clean out any accumulated lint. You may need to remove the vent pipe and use a specialized brush or vacuum attachment to reach deep into the vent system. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your dryer operates efficiently, which can save you energy and reduce drying times. Having a clean vent system reduces the risk of overheating and potential fire hazards.

Lastly, don’t forget about outdoor preparations. Clean out gutters and downspouts to prevent ice dams and water damage. Stock up on Winter essentials like salt or sand for de-icing walkways and driveways. Additionally, check your outdoor faucets and remove those hoses from them, and if necessary, shut off the water supply to prevent freezing and pipe damage.

In closing, take a little time this Fall to prepare for Winter. While I’m sitting on my couch wrapped in a blanket, watching football, and drinking my pumpkin spiced latte, I am comforted in knowing I prepped my house for Winter.