How to Prepare Your Pacific Northwest Home for Fall

Summer is coming to a close, and as a homeowner, that means some routine maintenance should be completed to prepare your home for fall.

While there are so many things to love about living in the Pacific Northwest, the fall season is always near the top of the list. The warm days and crisp nights coupled with the changing leaves and fall foliage in all its glory, make this time of year an absolute favorite.

Fall is also a time many of us associate with the beginning of our “hibernation” season, which means like any other mammal getting ready to hunker down for the winter, there is work to be done!

One of the most important aspects of getting ready for the impending change in weather is preparing your home for fall.

To help you get ready and make it easier to get everything organized and taken care of, we’re sharing our ideas on how to prepare your Pacific Northwest home for fall.

Clean Your Gutters
Fall means the leaves are coming off the trees, and the last thing you want to be doing when the weather turns brisk is trying to clear out the gutters on your house. With cold and rainy weather on its way, it’s critical your gutters are doing their job and draining water appropriately to prepare your home for fall. An overflowing gutter can damage your house and also be a slip hazard on the ground below.

Perform Furnace Maintenance
Colder weather means your furnace is going to be running more frequently. For the best air quality possible, your furnace filter should be replaced. Furnace filters trap dust, so it doesn’t recirculate through your ventilation system, and the more clogged your furnace is, the less efficient it becomes.

Don’t forget to turn your furnace on, and check that it is running properly and heat is coming from all vents.

Check Your Safety Features
Fall is an ideal time to check that both your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors are in full operational order. Do a test and replace your batteries if needed.

Now is also a good time to do a quick check on your fire extinguishers to ensure they are fully operational.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans are an excellent way to reduce heating and cooling costs, so you want to ensure you’re taking full advantage of the benefits. To push the warm air down from the ceiling, change your fan blades, so they are rotating clockwise instead of counterclockwise.

Close Off Outdoor Faucets
Forgetting to drain and turn off any outdoor faucets is a small task that can have potentially big impacts if not taken care of. Open pipes with standing water can end up freezing and bursting, so ensure your hose is drained and outdoor taps are shut off from the inside of the house.

Fertilize Your Lawn
If you want your grass to look amazing in the spring, fall is the time to start. The roots of your grass are still active even during the cold weather, so fertilizing in the fall also helps prevent the lawn from being damaged through the winter. Regular fertilizing also means your lawn will green up more quickly in the spring.

Look for Drafts
Drafts in the house are one of the biggest sources of heat loss, and heat loss means higher costs to you. Check all doors and windows to ensure all the seals are airtight. The foundation of your home can also be an area for heat loss, so do a quick inspection to verify there are no cracks that need to be addressed.

Put Your Air Conditioning Unit to Bed
If your home has central air, it should be turned off for the season directly at your main electrical panel. The unit itself should be cleaned of any debris and then securely covered.

Store and/or Winterize Outdoor Furniture and Equipment
It may not be quite the time to put everything away completely, but at the very least, start by cleaning and storing anything you won’t be using in the next few months. Furniture and equipment left out in the elements will wear more quickly, so to preserve the life of everything, it’s best to store things inside your garage or shed or at least cover them securely.

Check Your Lighting
Fall means it’s going to get darker sooner, and the combination of possible wetness and darkness can be a safety hazard. Check all exterior lights and change any bulbs needed.

Now that you know what to focus on to prepare your home for fall, you can start checking things off the list. By starting a bit early and getting these tasks taken care of, you can focus on what fall is really all about — walks through the leaves, cozy sweaters, and pumpkin spice lattes!

Westcott Homes offers modern living and smart design for today’s active families, in neighborhoods with room to grow. Our flexible floorplans, durable Pacific Northwest exteriors and luxurious interior details add up to a home you’ll delight in every day, and for years to come.