Checklist: Get your home ready for fall

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Rake any fallen leaves so your grass gets plenty of sunlight.

Labor Day, our last barbecue-filled beach day and the final hurrah of summer, is over. Now, it’s time to focus on shopping for warm clothes and prepping the house for fall. Angie’s List gives us the tasks to get out of the way while the weather is still mild so that we can cozy up to our fave Cab Sav stress-free later.

Service your heating system
As much as 80 percent of emergency calls answered by heating specialists are the result of improper maintenance. Schedule an appointment soon so you can beat the rush and help avoid a breakdown in the middle of a freeze.

Check and replace filters
Fall is the perfect time to check your furnace filters. Efficient operation distributes heat better and cuts your energy costs. Plus, it’s an inexpensive and easy task.

Protect your pipes
Have your plumbing looked at and water lines insulated. Cleaning all lines can help remove clogs. Clogs cause backups, which can freeze, then cause the weakening of pipes and bursting. Wrap your pipes with insulation designed for plumbing to protect them.

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Insulate your attic to reduce heat loss and save on your energy bill.

Add insulation
This is one of the lowest-cost options for improving the energy efficiency of your home. The proper amount of insulation you should have depends on the climate you live in. Obviously, the colder the weather, the more you need. Look in your attic: If you see exposed two-by-fours, you are due for more insulation.

Seal drafts
Caulk, seal and weather-strip where drafts are detected. Walk through your home with a lit stick of incense or a candle. Drafts will pull the smoke that direction, making it easier to determine where the cold air is seeping in.

Drain your water heater
You can improve your water heater’s efficiency by 50 percent by draining sediment buildup from the holding tank.

Check your gutters
Gutter blockage of dead leaves and other muck can cause serious water damage. If they are clogged, hire a professional for a cleaning. If they are not clogged, check again after the leaves have fallen.

Rake up leaves
Fallen leaves will deprive your grass of crucial sunlight. Wet leaves can also lead to mold growth and are a breeding ground for pests.


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