10 Chores to Take On This Fall

Raking leaves in the fall
Raking leaves is just one of many lawn and garden chores you should tackle in the fall.

Our 4 Seasons of Homeownership checklists are a great way to stay on top of your home maintenance projects.

The fall list is now available, with help from our friends at The Home Depot, for must-do chores to keep your house clean and comfortable.

Listen to this special-edition Today’s Homeowner Podcast to learn all about our fall projects list!


Man in short sleeve shirt replaces AC filter in the ceiling
Change your AC filter to keep your HVAC system operating efficiently all fall long.

1. Replace AC & Heating Filters

This is important to do at the beginning of every season. A dirty filter will slow down and strain your system and make the distribution of air or heat limited in your home. Once the filter is off, there is a cavity behind it called a plenum. Before installing the new filter, go ahead and vacuum this area. Sometimes there will be build-up and debris so be sure to clean this area out so it doesn’t make its way to your system!


Close view of gutters and downspouts on a home with wood siding
Clear gutters and downspouts ensure rainwater flows off the roof and away from your home’s foundation.

2. Clean and Repair Gutters and Downspouts

Having clean gutters and downspouts is an important chore to maintain around your home. Rainwater can run over or behind the gutters or downspouts which causes rot in the eaves. They are also more prone to being clogged!


Raking leaves
Raking leaves is just one of many lawn and garden chores you should tackle in the fall.

3. Rake Leaves

A common yet important chore to do around your household this fall. Wet leaves that are matted down to your lawn can kill the grass — which nobody wants because then you have to worry about replacing it! Here’s an easy and time-saving way to rake and bag your leaves.

Watch: How to Rake Leaves and Get Rid of Them In Record Time


Draining the gas from your lawnmower can prevent maintenance issues. @bogdanhoda

4. Drain Gas from Lawnmower and Sharpen Blade

An alternative to draining the gas from a lawnmower is to simply run the lawnmower until it is completely out of gas after mowing the lawn. This way it burns all of the fuel out of the tank, fuel lines and the carburetor. It’ll start right up in its next use!


Installing storm windows and doors is a great way to keep the elements out of your home!

5. Install Storm Windows and Doors

Storm doors make a great addition to any home since they protect an exposed door from the weather, allow fresh air into your home, and insulate the doorway to save energy. They’ll last you through the winter so you won’t have to worry about the elements getting in your home!


Draining your water heater will remove sediment from the tank, making it work more efficiently.

6. Drain and Flush Water Heater

It’s so important to drain all of the sediment out of your water heater so it works efficiently and makes it last longer. Not only is it a simple task to perform but it will save you money! Definitely add this to your fall chore checklist.


Smoke detector
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so go ahead and add nearby smoke detectors.

7. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If you don’t have a smoke or carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home, we strongly recommend that you do so. Be sure that they are operating properly and that the batteries are fresh to keep your home and family safe!


Replace weatherstripping when it is needed to reduce drafts and elements from seeping into your home!

8. Inspect and Replace Weatherstripping on Doors and Windows

First, clean the perimeter on the outside of your windows and doors and then caulk any gaps you may see. Do the same thing on the interior side of your windows and doors. If you find any weatherstripping that’s missing or cracked replace it before it gets too cold!


Don’t take the risk of a pipe bursting by draining your lawn’s irrigation system before it’s cold outside. (DepositPhotos ©Mariusz Blach)

9. Drain Lawn Irrigation System

This is important to do if you live in an area that is prone to freezing. The last thing you want is a pipe to burst from freezing temperatures so be sure to do this before it gets too cold.


Caulking a gap in the doorway with Titebond DuraMaster sealant
Sealing your home’s envelope — exterior surfaces that protect it from the elements — will increase energy efficiency, prevent water damage and improve the home’s appearance.

10. Check Insulation and Add More If Needed

Adding insulation is a lot easier than you think! One area where insulation is needed the most is in the attic. No matter where you live, you need at least 14 inches of insulation in your home. Insulation is expressed by R-value, 14 inches will get you to a R-35 or R-38 which will save you a lot of money!

Listen to this special-edition Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!



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