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Feeling rejuvenated by the thoughts of football and the inevitable onset of cooler temps?  Good!  Here's a honey-do list of things you need to knock out around the house before winter sets in…

Fireplace

Burning wood in your fireplace?  It’s time for a chimney sweep.  You should get your chimney cleaned and inspected before each wood-burning season.

Although it is convenient to keep firewood in the house, only bring in enough for your immediate use.  A piece of firewood is like a motor home for insects.  Leave them parked outside.

Tired of paying for and lugging wood?  How about gas logs?  Check them out and remember – for me, vented gas logs are better than the non-vented variety, but non-vented logs will produce more heat in your home.  Just make sure you read and follow label directions.

Windows and Doors

You still have time to get those leaky doors and windows replaced.  Energy efficient windows and doors can save you up to 40% on your energy usage.  Caulking around your windows and doors, all the way around and not just what you can reach from the floor will help you save even more – PLUS – it’s easy and inexpensive!  Things you need to know - how to use a caulk gun and how to step up on a footstool.  You got these skills...

Furnace

Call your favorite heating and air specialists and sign up for a service contract right now.  Not only will they make sure your furnace is in good working order for the upcoming season and change your filter (you remember your filter, that thingy that you were supposed to change every month or so?), but in the spring they will make sure you have cool air for the summer.

Energy.

This is a great time to re-up with your gas provider.  Don’t just pick up the phone and agree to their flier price either.  Negotiate.  Big time.  I recently had my gas rate lowered from 54 cents a therm to 39 cents a therm just by telling my gas company about a better offer that I had.

Also, some gas companies offer other services.  One company, believe it or not, will give you tickets to near about any event you are looking for in the Atlanta metro area, if you call them and ask them ahead of time for…

Insulation

Nothing will help you keep your energy costs in check more than having a well-insulated home.  A home energy report (they are often free) can pin point the areas where you need help.  Fall is a great time to schedule one for your house.

According to the Department of Energy, an R-value of 49 is good in the attic, while R-11 is suggested for use in your floor joists overhead in your crawlspace. 

Remember – when using batt insulation, the paper side goes toward the conditioned part of the house – so in your crawlspace, the paper side goes up.

Gutters

As the year goes along one thing is certain; time is running out on getting gutter covers.   By getting a good cover on your gutters you can help keep falling leaves and other junk out.

Solid covers work much better than wire mesh ones.  Spend the extra buck and go with them.  Down the road you will be much happier.

If you are still not convinced that you need covers, now is the time to climb the ladder and clean the gunk out of the gutters.  Or better yet you can easily find good companies for this chore at my web-site TheHomeFixItPage.com.

Pest Control

Cooler temps (at night) means bugs and rodents will be looking for warmth (in your home).  Keep them out by caulking and weather stripping any openings in your home.  Make sure you have screens over your louvers, and use expandable foam around any holes in the exterior of your home (i.e. drier vent, gas line, or plumbing).

Tonight - turn on all your lights and walk around your house.  Every crack and crevice where you see light coming out of your home is an open invitation for pests to come in.

Pick off one of these project a week and by the time the weather cools, your house will be ready for winter!