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  • Writer's pictureMoes Lawn Care LLC.

End of summer Preparing for winter

The transition from summer to fall is a great opportunity to take care of tasks around the house. By tackling maintenance now, homeowners spare themselves the displeasure of working in the heat of summer or cold winter weather. However, that’s hardly the biggest reason to stay on top of your home’s needs. By taking care of home maintenance before problems develop, homeowners can save themselves the frustration and expense of unexpected breakdowns. Before temperatures hit single digits, make sure you’ve taken care of these five to-do list items: 1. Shut Down the Sprinkler System Sprinklers are a great way to keep your lawn and garden looking lush during the spring and summer months, but if you don’t winterize your irrigation before temperatures drop, you could find yourself facing frozen or burst pipes and the expensive repairs that go with them. Winterizing a sprinkler system involves removing all water from the plumbing to prevent it from freezing and expanding. Blowing out a sprinkler system is a job best left to the professionals, because mistakes can easily cause damage. 2. Replace Indoor Air Filters Your HVAC system is responsible for heating and cooling your home, as well as maintaining indoor air quality. When the HVAC system isn’t running efficiently, homeowners notice it in their utility bills and stuffy, uncomfortable home. One of the biggest culprits of an underperforming HVAC system is a dirty air filter. The air filter prevents airborne particles and contaminants from circulating through your home, but if it’s clogged with debris, air can’t flow and your air quality and utility bills suffer. Thankfully, replacing an air filter is an easy job that any adult can do. Air filters should be replaced every three months, or more frequently if you have pets, but before winter is an especially important time to schedule this maintenance task. 3. Prune Dead and Dying Tree Limbs Dead tree branches pose a threat to your home, vehicles, and surrounding power lines. As leaves begin to fall, keep an eye out for limbs that look like they’re dead or dying. The Spruce offers some helpful tips for identifying dead wood. Once you’ve selected dead branches to prune, cut outside of the branch collar, the swollen area at the base of a branch, for the best results. Large branches should be removed with a series of three cuts to prevent damage to the bark. 4. Clean the Gutters Between leaves, branches, and bird nests, gutters collect a lot of debris throughout the year. If your gutters become obstructed, they can’t properly channel rainwater away from your house. Eventually, clogged gutters could flood your basement, cause cracks in your foundation, or discolor your siding. Not to mention, your gutters themselves could fall from the excess weight. Most homeowners can tackle gutter cleaning on their own, as long as they own a sturdy ladder and are comfortable working from heights. 5. Test Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential components of a safe and healthy home, but they won’t do you any good if they aren’t working correctly. Make a safety check part of your late-summer home maintenance checklist to protect against potential furnace malfunctions. According to the CDC, the furnace is one of the primary sources of carbon monoxide in the home. To test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, press the “test” button on the alarm until a beeping sound is emitted. If the device doesn’t beep or sound an alarm, replace its batteries immediately. You might not tackle major home updates until spring, but some home maintenance tasks can’t wait until next year. When you take care of these five items at the end of summer, you know your family will be safe and comfortable throughout the winter. 

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