Fall family walkWe've had an early taste of autumn this week, with overnight temperatures dipping down into the 50's here in New York. The reminder that cooler weather is around the corner has me scrambling to finish household projects, especially those that become harder in cold weather. Here's a list of 10 you should aim to finish by summer's end!
1. Pressure wash Areas outside your house such as siding, decks, patios, and walkways can take a beating over the summer from frequent parties or barbecues. Once temperatures drop, water will freeze, making this job impossible.
Related: Creative Fall Craft Ideas
2. Install a new thermostat A new thermostat can cut down on heating bills in colder months by helping you heat your home wisely. Make sure to opt for a model with a built-in timer that can cycle off when nobody is home. If you can't stand programming your thermostat, consider the Nest, a 2012 VIP Award winner, which learns your habits over time to automatically program itself.
3. Seal your driveway If you're noticing cracks in your driveway, have them professionally sealed. Letting them remain through the winter can cause them to grow, making it a bigger job next spring.
4. Replace your furnace filter If you heat and cool your home with forced air, take the time to replace your filter now. It will help central air-conditioning run efficiently through what's left of the warm weather and will save energy and money when you heat this winter.
Related: Homemade Decorations for Fall
5. Cover gutter pipes If you're considering putting in gutter pipe covers, summer's the time to do it, before trees start shedding leaves.
6. Bleed radiators or baseboards If you noticed a rogue radiator or baseboard didn't heat well last winter, considering "bleeding" it, which removes air trapped inside. You can easily do this by holding a small bucket beneath the "bleeding screw" (usually located on the top of a radiator or end of a baseboard) and turning the screw. Water will come out in droplets and you'll hear a hissing sound that signals air is escaping. Let this continue until the sound stops and water begins to come out in a steady stream.
7. Paint fences or exterior surfaces Paint is best applied in warmer weather because cold air can cut down on "cure time" (the time it takes paint to dry), which can cause premature flaking or peeling.
9. Caulk windows and doors: Like paint, caulk cures best in warmer weather. Inspect drafty windows and doors for holes or gaps where they meet the opening of the house.
10. Stain and seal your deck: If you're wood deck has seen better days, consider having it stained and re-sealed. Cold weather and moisture can be devastating to wood, and you'll prevent lasting damage by tackling this project sooner rather than later.
What are other projects you need to do before Fall hits? Let me know in the comments!
-By Paul Hope
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