Fall is here—it’s the perfect season to complete household chores to get your home all clean and cozy for the upcoming winter and holiday season when guests are over. Since the weather is just beginning to get chilly, it’s ideal to start with the outdoor tasks and then move indoors as the weather becomes colder. By doing some extra work now, you’ll be thanking yourself when you’re enjoying a snug winter without as many worries.
We’ve curated a fall checklist, so you know exactly where to start and what tasks to tackle in the most efficient way. See the list of areas and items in your home you should clean, repair, or inspect (or all three!) during fall below, and read on for expert tips for tackling each item on your fall cleaning checklist.
4. Winterize Outdoor Pools & Water Features
If you have an outdoor pool, spa, or water features that is not heated, drain the water or use a cover. Take the time to winterize exposed pipes and faucets to avoid costly repairs.
5. Remove Window Screens and Install Storm WindowsMany homes still have storm windows and doors that should be installed to help insulate and make homes more energy-efficient during cold weather. As screens and window air conditioners are removed after the summer, give them a good cleaning and make any needed repairs.
6. Wash Exterior and Indoor WindowsPlusWhile you’re winterizing windows, multi-task: This is the perfect time to wash the glass. Start with the outside of the windows. Even if you need to rinse them off again after all of the gutter cleaning is done, you’ll be glad you have them cleaned during the long winter days.As you move inside to clean windows, freshen up the window treatments as well. Some fabrics can be tossed in the washer, but most drapery requires dry cleaning. This is the perfect time to dust and clean blinds and shades and wipe down window sills.
7. Complete an Outdoor Home InspectionBefore the weather turns cold, take the time to walk around the outside of your home and make a note of areas that need to be winterized. If you don’t know much about home repairs, hire a professional inspector to help you.
Inspect the roof for any cracking or loose shingles after the heat of summer. Make repairs before winter snow, wind, and rain cause leaks.
Do some pest control to prevent mice and other rodents and insects from seeking shelter inside your home.
Inspect the foundation of your home to look for cracks and make those repairs.
Check windows and doors for any broken seals and replace damaged caulk for more energy efficiency.
Schedule a maintenance check-up for your heating system.
8. Sweep and Inspect Chimneys and Fireplaces A chimney should be cleaned and inspected yearly. A chimney sweep will help protect your home from accidental fires caused by creosote build-up. If you didn’t give your interior fireplace surround a good cleaning at the end of last winter, do it now. Waiting another season will just add to the build-up of soot and make cleaning even more difficult.Gas logs and fireplaces should also be inspected and cleaned so that they are safe and ready for use.
9. Change Smoke Detector BatteriesA change of seasons also signals a time to change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is one essential chore that can help protect everyone in your household.
10. Clean or Replace HVAC FiltersIn addition to having an HVAC technician check your heating system, it is important to regularly change the filters in your heating and air conditioning system. Changing or cleaning filters will improve the air quality of your home and reduce the wear and tear on your furnace. Best Air Filter Subscriptions of 2022
11. Clean and Reverse Ceiling FansIf the ceiling fans in your home have been running all summer, it’s time to turn them off and clean the fan. Then, look for the small switch on the fan body that reverses the blades so that the heated air will be redirected in a downward flow to keep you warmer during chilly days.
12. Deep-Clean Inside the HouseIf you’ve taken it easy during the summer and only gotten rid of the most visible grime, it’s time to do a deeper cleaning, especially in those places that you have been forgetting to clean, including your cleaning tools. As you move through the rooms in your home, follow our list to make sure everything gets the attention it needs.In the Bedroom:
Vacuum under the bed and all furniture.
Wash or freshen heavier winter bedding.
Vacuum and flip mattress.
Clean carpets and rugs.In the Bathroom:
Treat any mold or mildew in the shower stall.
Clean out bathroom cabinets and properly discard out-of-date products.
Wash shower curtains and bathmats.
Clean all fixtures including switch plates and doorknobs.
Replace toothbrushes.In the Living Room:
Vacuum all upholstered furniture, including under the cushions.
Clean all keyboards, remotes, and electronic devices.
Dust baseboards, tops of furniture, and books.
Clean walls and remove scuff marks.
Clean wood floors, wool rugs, and carpet.In the Kitchen:
Empty and clean the pantry. Make a list of holiday baking supplies that you will need, particularly if you have to toss expired essentials that you’ll need again come the holidays.
Clean the refrigerator and freezer and discard unusable items. Dust and clean the refrigerator coils.
Inspect and clean small appliances.
13. Store Summer Clothes and Inspect Winter WardrobesWhile you’re cleaning, don’t forget your closet and summer clothes. Empty each clothes closet and sort summer clothes before storing them away. Choose clothes that you want to store until next year to be laundered or dry cleaned. The rest should be sold, donated, or discarded. While the closet is empty, check that no pests that can ruin clothes are lurking inside by vacuuming it out well.
With our team at A Better Home Inspection, we’ve been your neighborhood home inspection company since 1988. Our staff have helped many California homeowners maintain their houses – Please call us at 760-805-1966 and schedule today!
Article by: Mary Marlowe Leverette Updated 9/28/22