Written by Abbie Stutzer
So, the first day of autumn is less than a month away… Perhaps it’s time you consult that fall home maintenance to-do list penned this spring?
Weatherproofing your house before temperatures plunge will keep you and your family comfortable during the awkward, summer-to-fall transition. Also: you’ll waste less energy and save money!
Fall home projects
Hang wooden shelves a foot above a heater or radiator. The wood helps circulate hot air. Another energy efficient wooden addition? Wood shutters, which insulate better than curtains and blinds.
Another simple fix for every room of your home: add insulated seals to electrical outlets and switches to keep chilly, outdoor air outside.
Slightly difficult fixes
Stand next to most any window and you’ll probably feel an insidious draft.
A few, straightforward draft fixes:
- Fix small drafts with sash locks (side-mounted sash locks work well for double-hung windows). Or add weather-stripping around a leaky window’s frame.
- “Remove the inside trim surrounding the window to see how it was installed into the framing cavity. Any air space between the house shell and the window frame can cause significant air leakage and should be sealed. If the gap is not too wide, then it can be sealed with caulk, backer rod or nonexpanding foam. For windows with ropes and pulleys, buy pulley seals to stop air infiltration there.”
- Cover windows with plastic window film, window insets or window quilts (bubble wrap placed between two pieces of cloth).
Check leaky areas
- Check and consider insulating air ducts, plumbing and wall openings, and heating and cooling ducts.
- A roaring fire on a cold, autumn night is quite lovely. But a drafty chimney on a chilly, autumn morning is dreadful. Read how to fix drafty chimneys in Mother Earth News’ comprehensive article, “How to Fix Chimney Draft Problems”.