As summer winds down and the weather shifts into breezier autumn, you'll likely be outside reseeding a new lawn for the spring and trimming back hedges that have become overgrown. While you're at it, take a look at how your house retains cool air in summer and heat in winter to make your home as energy efficient as it can be.
Weather stripping wears out and caulking gets brittle over time so replacing these items while it's still nice out is a good idea. These improvements will prevent the remaining summer heat from seeping into your home while sealing up the house against the cold later. Lock your windows before adding new stripping to get the tightest seal possible.
By checking now for leaks around doors, windows and utility connections into the house, you'll save yourself the trouble of doing it when the weather turns blustery.
Another low-cost investment that can keep your interior temperature balanced throughout the year is cellular shades. The honeycomb construction of the shades traps heat so that it doesn't penetrate your cool home in summer, and also acts as insulator against the cold in winter.
Get ready for next year
If you're washing all your windows, look over the condition of your window fans. The blades should be dusted off and electric cords checked to make sure there's no damage to the insulating rubber.
The same is true of air conditioning. Check filters in window units and central air systems so there won't be any clogs when you start them up next season. The U.S. Department of Energy estimated that running air conditioning with fresh filters can save homeowners from 5 to 15 percent in energy consumption.
In addition, test all settings on room fans and air conditioners if you put them away for the season so they'll operate at optimal levels when they're needed again. Leave some fans out to circulate air on unexpectedly warm fall days.
Let greenery conserve energy
If you're planning your landscaping for next year, consider where to plant new bushes or a young tree on your property. Greenery is nature's insulator when you plant it close to your home.
Dense shrubs also keep the foundation shaded from direct sun in the summer and they block wind that may penetrate your home through gaps in insulation as the weather turns colder.
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