With the summer season ending and fall beginning, the temperature will be dropping and the weather changing. As a homeowner, you may have a routine down with preparing your home for the fall season. However, first-time home buyers may not know what exactly they should be taking care of. Whether you have a checklist for fall home prep or not, these chores will save you money in the long run.

Check for Drafts

One of the first things you should pay attention to is the performance of your doors and windows for draft blocking. Drafts can wind up increasing your home’s heating bill by $20 annually per draft area. A simple way to check for drafts is to place a lit candle near the window seams on a breezy day. If the flame bends in any direction, this is a sign that air is moving from the window to the outdoors. While some drafts will be pretty obvious to find, others may be more difficult.

Smoke Test

Another way to detect for hard to find drafts in windows and doors is performing a smoke test. A smoke test helps determine which areas in your home need more attention due to smaller air leaks. To perform a smoke test, shut all of the windows and doors in your home. Turn off any combustion appliances such as space heaters, gas ranges, and ovens. Turn on the bathroom and kitchen exhaust ventilation systems (doing so will create negative pressure on the inside of the home, which should suck outside air in through any openings of doors or windows). Light a stick of incense and place it near potential draft areas. You should be able to visually tell which areas have openings from the smoke changing directions.

Caulk and Seals

Another seasonal chore to check off your list is to investigate all areas for caulk and seals. Determine the state of the caulk on the outside window frames and of the glazing around all of your window panes as well. Summer temperatures are known to dry out the exterior caulk which can lead to cracking. Cracks allow for outside air to get in and can lead to water damage as well.

As a homeowner, you’ll notice that window glazing will end up needing a periodic replacement. Aging putty loosens the seal along the glass. You can then tell where the glazing needs to be replaced by tapping on the window pane and seeing if it rattles.

With the outside of windows and doors, look for spaces between the window/door and your home’s siding. As for the inside, inspect the threshold under each door. Spotting outside light lets you know the opening is too big and needs to be sealed shut. Other areas to check for are weather stripping on both doors and windows. If any serious damage found, quickly replace your windows and doors before the winter months.

Fall is Around the Corner

The colder fall and winter months will be here before you know it. If you complete these chores and find that you’re in need of new windows and doors, don’t hesitate to call Pella of West Michigan. Our team of experts is here to help you prepare for the elements. Contact us for a free in-home consultation today.