Prep your home for cooler weather with these tasks to do in an hour, over a weekend, and during the month.
From the first days, which probably still feel like summer, to the last, when you may notice that first chill in the air, September is a time of transition. Get your home ready for the season ahead by ticking off these to-dos, from adding cozy layers to scheduling necessary maintenance — and then curl up in your favorite chair and savor the comforts of home.
Have you felt that first nip in the air yet? When you do, think about swapping out lighter-weight bedding for flannel sheets and fluffy duvets. Bring added warmth to the other rooms in your house with throws and pillows in rich fabrics like wool, velvet or faux fur. Thicker area rugs and curtains not only feel cozier, but they also can actually help your home feel warmer — and cut down on your energy bills.
Whether you use a wood stove for actual warmth or just for coziness, now is a good time to order a delivery of firewood. If you can help it, don’t store large quantities of wood directly against the house, which can encourage pests, but do keep it protected from rain and snow beneath a shelter.
3. Check safety devices.
Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries as needed. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace if needed.
5. Clean leather furniture.
It’s important to know whether your leather furniture has a finish before treating it with any products, so check labels or look up the item on the retailer’s or manufacturer’s website before you begin.
For unprotected leather (also called aniline), less is more when it comes to cleaning: Wipe with a clean, dry cloth or one slightly dampened with distilled water.
For protected leather (also called semianiline or pigmented), you can make your own cleaning solution by adding a few drops of mild nondetergent soap to distilled water or use a commercial leather cleaning product. Apply with a microfiber cloth.
7. Add weatherstripping.
Newer double-pane windows may not need weatherstripping, but it will help most older windows retain heat and stop drafts. Check areas with previously applied weatherstripping and remove or replace as needed.
10. Schedule chimney and furnace maintenance.
Make sure your fireplace and heating system are clean, safe and ready to go by having a pro look at them now. Having your chimney cleaned will also ensure that you don’t try to start a fire when an animal family (or an old nest) is inside. And if you don’t have a chimney cap yet, speak with your chimney sweep about adding a one. The metal cap with screened sides can prevent critters from getting in and helps protect your roof from burning embers.
Tell us in the Comments: What’s on your to-do list for September?