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Seasonal Chores That Save You Money
Summer is over, and winter is around the corner – which makes fall the perfect time to take care of some home maintenance both outside and inside. According to Consumer Reports, these eight chores will save you money:
Get rid of leaves. If you leave leaves on your lawn, they will get crushed under the coming snow and could kill your grass. They also provide shelter for mice and other critters you don’t want in your house. If you have a mulching lawnmower, you might be able to avoid raking and bagging.
Eyeball your roof. Take a good look at your roof; use binoculars if you have to. Or hire a professional to let you know what’s going on up top. That can save you a bundle by helping you to stop leaks before they happen.
Clean your gutters. Clogged gutters can create ice dams that can damage your roof, and they can cause water to seep inside your house from around the foundation. If you can’t clean your gutters yourself, hire a professional. You also might want to install gutter guards, which keep debris out.
Turn off outside faucets. If water freezes inside your pipes, it can burst the pipes and leave you with a mess – and a costly cleanup. When you drain and put away your hoses, also turn off the valves that send water to outside spigots; then turn on the spigot to drain. Also shut down automatic sprinkler systems, water to swimming pools, etc.
Add an automatic thermostat. If you turn the heat in your house down when you are sleeping or at work, you can save a bundle on your heating costs.
Check for leaks – and plug them. Stand in front of windows and doors. Do you feel cold air coming in? If so, plug the leaks with caulk, weatherstripping, etc. You also might have a professional come in to check your ductwork and seal it if necessary.
Prepare your furnace. Have a professional check your furnace to make sure it is ready for the winter cold. Then change your furnace filters regularly, because your furnace has to work harder to force air through dirty filters.
Have your chimney checked. If you use your fireplace regularly, creosote and soot can build up and cause fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. Even if you don’t have a fireplace or use it often, your chimney can develop cracks that can cause expensive problems down the road.