Autumn officially arrives on Monday, September 22, at 10:29 p.m. (EDT) this is when the sun crosses the equator and those living in the northern part of the globe will see it getting darker earlier and for a longer amount of time as autumn continues on. The Autumn Equinox is the official start of the fall season and is the time to prepare for cold weather changes.
The Autumn Equinox will slowly change the amount of light we will see each day over the next three months leading up to winter. The hours of daylight between dawn and dusk will get shorter and it will become darker earlier each day. This is a season of big changes that are easily recognizable in nature like leaves changing colors, animals get a thick coat of hair for the coming winter, temperatures get cooler and stay cooler and birds begin migrating south for the winter.
It’s time to prepare ourselves for cooler temperatures and get ready for winter weather. One of the main concerns in Ohio is the many seasons and weather changes we go through each year. Use this checklist for things you can do to prepare for the season of change.
5 ways to prepare your home for autumn changes:
1. Clean out gutters and downspouts. Remove leaves and yard remnants in your gutters and downspouts to keep them from clogging up. Drain swimming pools, outdoor faucets and irrigation systems to keep them from freezing up once winter arrives.
2. Remove air conditioners. Removable air conditions need to be unplugged, dusted and cleaned before covering or storing them for the winter. While you’re at it check the humidifier to make sure it clean and ready to use. Clean the plates or pads to make sure it will run efficiently.
3. Check for drafts and put up storm windows. Take out removable window and door screens and clean them before storing them away for the winter. Replace the screens with clean storm windows. While you are changing the windows check for cracks that allow drafts and fix them using weather stripping and caulk. Doing so now will keep your home warm, save on energy cost and in turn lower your energy bill.
4. Check your home heating system and make sure vents are not blocked by furniture, curtains or rugs. Dust the vents and clean your filters and do a test run on your heating system to make sure it works properly and contact your heating and cooling service provider before he is booked for the season.
5. Clean the fireplace and call the chimney cleaner and have him check the chimney damper to make sure it can be closed tightly to prevent drafts in your home. Clean out ash and charred wood from your fireplace and make sure you have a good supply of seasoned firewood for the winter. Wood stoves are becoming more popular once again; make sure it is clean and working properly before you need to use it.