September is one of the best months to take care of a few items around the house. While the season is turning, it still is quite nice outside, yet it is pleasant enough to open up the windows and let some fresh air back into the home after running the air conditioning most of the summer.
Here are a few chores you should tackle this month, in between football games:
- Check weather-stripping around your doors and windows. Weather-stripping comes in a variety of forms: foam, plastic, felt or metal are the most common, and over time, it deteriorates. To keep air from coming into your home, inspect the weather-stripping and caulking around your windows and doors, and if it is cracked or torn, replace it.
- Attic insulation. Now that the outside temperature is a bit cooler, you can get up into your attic to inspect the insulation. If you have pink insulation, the pink side should be facing you, not the reflective side. If you see areas where the insulation is compacted, that is where you’ll want to add more. Also look for wet spots, which are a telltale sign that you have a leak in your roof.
- Check gutters. Do a quick visual inspection of your gutters and drains to make sure they are still solidly attached to your home.
- Keep critters out. Mice can squeeze through an opening as small as ¼ inch, and autumn is the time they are looking for a winter home. Make sure your vents are screened and that there aren’t any gaps around the garage door. Mice, and other critters, like to enter through pet doors, too.
- Clean dryer vents. The best way to clean your dryer vent is to move it away from the wall, unhook the vent and use a vacuum. But that’s only half the job. Now go outside and use your Shopvac to clean the outside vent. This is something you should do every spring and fall – to prevent lint from clogging up your vent, which makes your dryer run longer, and to prevent a fire hazard.
- Schedule furnace maintenance. To keep your furnace in the best working order, have your HVAC company do a “preventative maintenance” check on your furnace. Your gas fireplace should also be vacuumed before you use it for the first time this season.