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With fall, come visions of roasted turkey and a happy holiday season. But, say home advisors for This Old House, it’s a good time to do a host of chores you’ll be glad you did when winter sets in.

Here are 10 you can start with:

  • Drain and store hoses – If you live in a zone where winter watering is not needed, then drain and coil hoses and store them away before a freeze triggers ice to form that could cause hoses to burst.

 

  • Check your yard gear – If you need replacements for yard and garden tools, buy them this fall and winter while all yard gear will be on sale.

 

  • Protect yard furniture – Hose off and/or cover the yard furniture. Use dish soap and water to hand-wash dirty cushions if they can’t be tossed into the washer.

 

  • Extend downspouts – If downspouts do not direct water far enough from your home’s foundation, add an extender to keep moisture from welling up.

 

  • Check outdoor lighting – If necessary, change bulbs in pathway lighting. If walkways are not lit, add low-tech solar lighting on stakes to ensure guests will have safe footing.

 

  • Dust heating vents – Vacuuming debris from all the registers before turning on the heat will maximize your system’s efficiency.

 

  • Clean the vent hood – Before all that cooking gets underway, wipe down the interior and exterior of the vent hood with a non-abrasive household de-greaser. Pre-wash the filter before running it through the dishwasher on the top rack.

 

  • Service smoke alarms – Clear away any dust with a soft brush and change the batteries, a twice-a-year chore.

 

  • Upgrade your thermostat – If you haven’t done so already, replace your old thermostat with a programmable one. Making the switch will save you money on utilities all winter long.

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