Schaub Team Blog
Posted by Jamie Jewell on Sep 18 , 2019 - 11:25 am
It’s true… when you own a home, the to-do lists never seem to end. As we turn the calendar and leaves begin to change, we’re reminded that it’s a good time to tackle some seasonal maintenance that will help prepare for the winter season ahead.
Following are 10 items to help you stay on track:
- Change furnace filters: No surprise, clogged filters will make your furnace work harder to keep your desired temp which equates to higher heating bills. But admittedly, an easy task to forget – out of sight, out of mind. Monthly care for the filters is preferred over bi-annually. Tip: Foam filters can be vacuumed, and disposable filters can be vacuumed one time before you replace it.
- Check batteries and other winter equipment: Spring Ahead / Fall Back = replace smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. While you’re at it, check to be sure your snowblower is working properly and have it serviced BEFORE an early season storm sneaks up on you.
- Check for drafts: check doors and windows for drafts and replace weather stripping where needed. Small drafts = big $. The US Department of Energy reports an average of 25-30% of energy is attributed to heat loss (and gain in summer) through windows!
- Secure all gaps to prevent unwanted house guests: A mouse can fit through space the size of a dime. So, take the time to look for any small gaps that could allow unwanted critters into your home.
- Fertilize your lawn: Your lawn will reap the benefits of fall care. In fact, some say fall is the “most important application of fertilizer for the whole year”. Even when the roots are not active, the fertilizer will prevent damage from harsh Northern Michigan winters. In the spring, your lawn will turn green faster and you’ll be thanking yourself. Tip: use a fall fertilizer that is slightly higher in phosphorous and potassium to promote root growth.
- Clean the gutters: Remove debris, branches, and leaves to prevent ice dams, potential leaks and damage to the interior and exterior walls. Tip: wait until most leaves have fallen and try to catch it before freezing temps and snow!
- Power wash: for the best results in cleaning outdoor furniture, siding, grills, garbage containers, decks, and pavement get out your power washer (or rent one) and research the best solutions to help provide the elbow grease needed to properly store these items or prepare them for winter. Tip: for a list of suggestions and how-to’s for the most common power washer projects, check out this list from Briggs and Stratton.
- Drain outdoor spigots: Be sure to drain and disconnect all garden hoses to prevent freezing, spigot damage, and worse yet…burst pipes. Tip: once you've drained all the water from the hose, coil it making sure there are no kinks and screw the two ends together. This will keep the hose clean and free from debris or the hose from unraveling.
- Cut back perennials (but not all of them): Did you know that the seeds of Echinacea (coneflowers) and Rudbeckia (black-eyed-susans) will attract and feed the birds? So, it’s best to leave them for winter. Other varieties of perennials prefer the protection their foliage provides to the crown. So, best to clean them up in the spring. There are many that should be put to bed before winter. For a good list, visit Perennial Plants to Cut Back in the Fall, by The Spruce.
- Restock winter supplies: take a moment while the weather is still nice to make sure your cars and homes are outfitting with emergency kits, have additional fuel on-hand for the snowblower and generator, stock up on ice melt, find and check the condition of your snow shovels and ice scrapers.
Check these items off your list, enjoy fall, and rest easy this winter!