What tasks should be on my fall to-do list?

Summer's ending. A touch of coolness is in the air. It's time to start checking things off your fall to-do list.
Ah, can you feel it in the air? Temperatures are dropping. Leaves are changing. Without question, fall is coming. It's time to make sure your home is ready from the inside out.

Exterior, Basement & Foundation

Inspect your exterior walls and outdoor electrical receptacles

Check for cracked or damaged windows Clean your gutters and downspouts Check your crawlspace or unfinished basement for leaks and crittersInterior & Appliance

Clean your air ducts

Get your furnace inspected and serviced Clean your fireplace, flue, and chimney
  • Why: If you have and use a wood-burning fireplace, the flue and chimney can build up with ash and creosote, which restricts the flow of air and causes smoke to back up. Getting this buildup cleaned out will make sure your flue works properly and your chimney draws well.
  • When: Fall
  • Who can help: It's a dirty job, but you can do it yourself with some inexpensive tools, or you can find a chimney sweep to do it so you can stay clean.
Get your water heater serviced Clean your range hood, fan, and filter
  • Why: Your range hood can be the difference between relaxing comfortably inside and madly scurrying outside during mealtime-depending on the pungency of the meal and your ability to keep it from charring. If the fan and filter are caked with grease, airflow is restricted and it doesn't filter the air effectively, which means opening windows and escaping to the outside are your only means for fresh air. Plus, those smells can get imbedded in your fabrics like carpet, couches, and curtains. Cleaning the hood, fan, and filter will keep the air flowing well, so your home smells fall-fresh and you don't have to run out into the cold.
  • When: Fall
  • Who can help: It's a dirty job, but it's typically a do-it-yourselfer. If you don't want to get dirty, hire a hood-cleaning pro.
  • Advice: How do I hire a quality maid service?
Backyard & Landscape

Trim up your trees

  • Why: Before the leaves have fallen, it's an easy time to spot branches that are dangerously close to power lines or dead branches that can fall if tested with a bit of wind or snow.
  • When: Fall & Early Spring
  • Who can help: You might be able to cut down some lower-level branches, but hire a tree service to handle the branches that higher up or if you're unsure how to best trim your trees.
  • Advice: How do I hire a quality tree service? | What can a tree service do for me?
Winterize your sprinkler system and lawn Shut the pool down
  • Why: If you have a pool and don't want to spend a fortune to keep it warm all winter, now's a good time to drain it and cover it up before Mr. Frost shows up. It's also important to winterize the pump and heater system so you don't have lines freezing and breaking for a messy and expensive start to next summer's poolside fun.
  • When: Fall
  • Who can help: You can find a pool pro to take care of this lengthy project, unless you have a weekend free to do it yourself.
  • Advice: Should I hire a pool maintenance pro or do it myself? | How should I care for my pool?

Popular on Kudzu

  1. Composting in 5 easy steps
  2. The cost of professional fence installation
  3. Calculating the return on a home remodel
  4. Gardening with vines
  5. Tips for hiring a window cleaning professional

ENJOY THIS ARTICLE? Sign up for our free newsletters.