7 fall home maintenance tasks you can do in an hour

Home design website Houzz has a list of ways you can prepare your home for cold weather and they can be done in an hour or less.

Even if it doesn’t feel like it, fall is in full swing. With the arrival of cooler months, the time has come to take care of some things around the house as the leaves continue to change.

Home design website Houzz has a list of ways you can prepare your home for cold weather and they can be done in an hour or less.

From testing outdoor lighting to dusting heaters and radiators, below are seven things you should do around your home before cold weather settles in.

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Keep winter supplies handy

Despite being in the South, Georgia winters can be freezing and some snow isn’t uncommon. Houzz recommends buying a bag of pet-and plant-safe ice melt if you have either at your residence. Also, avoid any inconveniences with a possible “SnowJam” or “Snowmageddon” by restocking emergency kits for the home and the car.

Inspect the driveway, walkways, railing and stairs for safety

Get ahead of any sleet, snow or ice that may cover your home this winter and check the driveway to ensure it’s in good repair. Houzz also recommends homeowners make sure their railing is sturdy and that the stairs are in solid form.

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Test exterior lighting and replace bulbs if necessary

Shorter days will soon be in full effect and why take the chance of not being able to see each morning? Check outdoor lighting on all sides of the house — including the front and back porch, garage and in the landscape. If the bulbs need to be replaced, make sure to do so. Home advice website Hunker has an explainer on how to change the bulbs when you need to remove a porch light cover.

Put away hoses and turn off outside faucets

Warnings to leave faucets dripping in the winter regularly crop up, but Houzz recommends turning off outdoor water faucets before the weather drops below freezing. Hoses used to entertain the kids in the warmer months should be drained and placed indoors. If you’re using an irrigation system, drain those too, and winterize them using tips from The Home Depot.

Vacuum grates, baseboard heaters and radiators

Colder weather means you’ll be relying on grates, baseboard heaters and radiators for warmth. Green cleaning coach Leslie Reichert told Today.com that cleaning vents can not only lessen allergens in the home but boost the efficiency of your heating unit.

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Check safety devices

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested and the batteries replaced if needed. If you have a fire extinguisher, make sure it’s not expired and if it is, get a replacement. Houzz also reported that fall is a good time to check your home for radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that cannot be seen or smelled. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it can cause lung cancer.

Remove window air conditioners

Consumer Reports recommends removing air conditioners from the window in the winter.

“During the winter months, heat could escape through the accordion extension panels on the A/C and the chassis; cold air could also infiltrate your home the same way,” it said.

When removing the unit, you should enlist the help of another person to avoid injury.

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