Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – With stores already carrying holiday decorations and items, it might seem like it’s way too early to think about what your home will look like this holiday season. Whether you’re already excited for Halloween and Christmas, or if the holidays are a disappointment, fall cleaning is a great way to kick off the season.
Everyone knows about spring cleaning, preparing for summer and changing weather. Likewise, implementing a fall cleaning can help make your home more pleasant while helping to create a functional environment as the temperature changes. Here are some practical steps you can take when doing fall cleanup.
Wash winter clothes
Changing wardrobes from summer to winter is part of the annual cycle, but the last thing you want is to wake up on a cold morning and not find a warm jacket before going to work or going to school. ‘school. Before that happens, go ahead and find those clothes and wash them well. Spring to fall storage can leave clothes moldy, but getting ahead of the game before the first cold morning could mean you never have to deal with not being able to find what you need. .
Get rid of what is no longer needed
When you’re exchanging clothes, it’s a great time to assess what’s no longer needed or what needs to be discarded. Clothes that don’t match your body or style but still look reasonably good are great candidates to be donated to a thrift store that supports a great cause or sold through Facebook Marketplace or Poshmark. Garments that have holes in them or have been otherwise damaged may be discarded, except for one or two trusty sets to be saved for painting or messy work.
While cleaning out the closet, think about what no longer fits in the house but might still be useful to someone else. Outdated items, extra books, or items that have been upgraded may still be functional for others. It’s also a great time to make room for the extra items that are sure to come during the holiday season. Getting the kids to make room for more toys or knowing what presents might be coming over the winter break in the fall can make the holiday season a little less cluttered and stressful.
Replace air filters
Air filters for homes that have HVAC systems should be done regularly, but changing can be very helpful going from summer to fall. Pollen, dust, and dirt buildup, as well as pet hair for those with pets, can make the HVAC system less efficient. Before turning on the heater, change the air filter to ensure your home is running efficiently.
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
In addition to turning on the heat, other things to consider are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home. The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance states that smoke detectors should be changed every 10 years and batteries should be replaced annually. Winter often sees an increase in house fires due to heating, holiday decorations, winter storms and candles according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Carbon monoxide detectors also play an important role in the safety of everyone in the home. The Environmental Protection Agency shares that carbon monoxide is often created by a variety of different combustion devices, such as heaters or cars, and that batteries in carbon monoxide detectors should be changed annually.
Inverted Ceiling Fans
It may be a frequent joke to point out people who use ceiling fans in the winter, but those who use them correctly are onto something. During the summer, the fans blow air and create a cool breeze, but once the outside temperature cools, the fans can be reversed to circulate warm air around the room according to Energy Star.
“In the winter, reverse the motor and run the ceiling fan on low speed clockwise. This produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space. Energy Star said on its website.
Check the seal around doors and windows
Ensuring your home has the best chance of retaining warm air is an important step in preparing your home for the cold temperatures of late fall and winter. The Department of Energy suggests in addition to checking around doors and windows, other places that should be checked for potential air leaks include: electrical outlets, switch plates, electrical service entrances and gas, baseboards, fireplace dampers, attic hatches, wall or window fixings. air conditioners, telephone cables and lines, vents, fans, and where dryer vents pass through walls.
While weather stripping and caulking are both simple and effective measures for sealing doors and windows, the Department of Energy has a comprehensive list of suggestions on how to air seal your home for winter. .
For tenants, making modifications to winterize their dwelling can be a source of concern. To get started, consulting with the landlord is a great place to start, but if they are not in favor of either party doing work to keep the cold air out, Apartment Therapy suggests thermal curtains and plastic insulation film for the windows and one under the door. gasket that can be removed.
Winterize outdoor water faucets
For those with outdoor water faucets, they should be winterized annually to reduce the likelihood of a pipe freezing and bursting. A great time to get ahead is in the fall, so if insulation tubing is needed to cover the pipes or a new winter cover is needed for the faucet head are used up, there will still be time to get what is needed before the pipes freeze.
Fight dust and dirt
Summer and the start of the school year can cause a buildup of dirt, which is no shame. Between running constantly all summer and getting back to “normal life” in the fall, dirt and dust can slip through the cracks. In addition to contributing to allergies, dirt and dust can make your home look unkempt, especially when you spend more time there in the fall and winter. Dusting surfaces, deep cleaning around appliances, vacuuming floors and furniture, and washing walls thoroughly can spruce up the space and make it that much more inviting.
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