Fall Home Maintenance Inside and Out

As autumn arrives, it brings more than just a break from summer’s warmth and the picturesque transformation of leaves. This season offers a prime opportunity to address important seasonal maintenance tasks both inside and outside your home, getting it ready for the colder months.

Get ahead of the changing seasons with these essential fall home maintenance tips that will ensure your home is well-prepared and cozy for the coming months.

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist for Your Home’s Interior

During the fall season, your primary concern should be getting your furnace ready to heat your home effectively and ensure no warm air leaks outside. Besides taking care of the HVAC system, there are additional tasks around the house that must be completed to create a safe and comfortable living environment for the colder months.

  • Schedule a professional HVAC inspection – Have a qualified HVAC contractor inspect your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. They’ll make sure it’s in top condition to keep you warm in the colder months and check for any potentially dangerous carbon monoxide levels.
  • Regularly clean your HVAC system – Once the furnace has been inspected, focus on maintaining the system’s efficiency. Clean and clear the ducts and vents of any dust or debris. Don’t forget to replace the air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, typically every one to three months.
  • Check your interior window sills – Avoid heat loss by inspecting your windows for cracks in the glass or sills. Consider using plastic wrap as a barrier to keep the heat from escaping through the glass.
  • Clean the fireplace – For homes with working fireplaces, it’s advisable to hire a professional chimney sweep to maintain its functionality and safety.
  • Reverse ceiling fans – Improve heat distribution within your rooms by reversing the direction of your ceiling fans. This creates an upward draft, pushing warm air down from the ceiling.
  • Test and replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries – Ensure the safety of your household by testing and replacing batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Keep extra batteries on hand for emergencies.
  • Vacuum air conditioners and store window units – Prepare your air conditioners for winter by vacuuming them and storing any window units properly. Use a tarp or plastic to protect them from damage until the next season.
  • Regularly clean humidifiers – Establish a routine for cleaning and maintaining your home’s humidifiers to prevent the accumulation of spores and bacteria in the collected water.

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist for Your Home’s Exterior

As autumn arrives and the growing season draws to a close, your yard work to-do list is only starting. The changing leaves signal the need to prepare your yard for a cold winter, ensuring it can come out even healthier in the spring. Taking care of these tasks is not only beneficial for your yard’s health but also protects your house by eliminating potential sources of moisture and rot around the foundation.

  • Give the lawn one final mow – Set the cutting height to two inches, allowing the grass to store food for growth while avoiding matting down from snow and ice, which can lead to disease and fungus problems.
  • Mulch grass clippings into flower and shrub beds – This helps retain water and protects roots from freeze damage, promoting healthier growth in the spring.
  • Gather seed heads of desired flowers for spring planting – Get a head start on reviving a colorful and attractive flower garden next year.
  • Mulch or remove leaves from the yard – Prevent suffocation of the lawn during winter by either mulching leaves with a lawn mower to fertilize the grass or collecting excess leaves for composting.
  • Seed bare spots in the lawn – Take advantage of cooler fall temperatures, allowing grass to establish faster without the need for excessive watering.
  • Fertilize the lawn appropriately – Prepare your lawn for the colder months by using fertilizers designed for your grass and soil type, with higher levels of phosphorus and potassium and lower levels of nitrogen.
  • Tackle weed problems – Fall is the best time to apply herbicides, targeting weeds while they store food in their roots, making weed control more efficient and environmentally friendly.
  • Avoid pruning bushes or trees in fall – Dormant plants may not heal in time before winter, making them vulnerable to ice and potential disease.
  • Inspect nearby trees for signs of disease or decay – Remove dead limbs to prevent potential damage to your home or property during winter.
  • Clean around your home’s foundation – Remove leaves and debris to encourage airflow and reduce the risk of moisture and mildew issues, preventing rot.
  • Clear out refuse from beneath decks and porches – Remove leaves and debris that can trap moisture and cause rot in hidden areas.
  • Hose down the outside condenser unit of your air conditioner – Protect the fan housing by placing plywood over the top venting and securing it with bricks, but avoid covering the unit entirely.
  • Remove tree saplings growing near your house – Prevent potential foundation damage by removing small saplings before they grow bigger and establish deeper roots.
  • Clean rain gutters and downspouts – Regularly inspect and clear gutters to prevent water overflow, which can lead to slippery patches and foundation damage. Ensure downspouts drain away from your home.
  • Check for animal entry points – Inspect gable vents and soffits and for gaps that animals might crawl into, and seal them with hardware cloth or sheet metal.
  • Turn off external water lines – Shut off water to external faucets, remove and drain garden hoses, and blow out sprinkler systems to prevent freezing and potential pipe damage.


Though this fall yard work list may appear extensive, most tasks can be completed in just a few minutes. By dedicating a few hours over the weekend, you can tackle your fall yard maintenance surprisingly fast. Not only will this prepare your yard for the winter ahead, but it will also save you from dealing with time-consuming and potentially costly home damages. Being proactive and completing your fall yard work is a smart approach to protecting your home and ensuring a smooth transition into the colder months.

By keeping in mind these fall home maintenance tips and completing these tasks, you’ll be able to prepare your yard and home for winter, ensuring a healthier and more comfortable home in the seasons to come.


“Your Fall HVAC Maintenance Checklist,” HVAC.com, https://www.hvac.com/expert-advice/your-fall-hvac-maintenance-checklist/
“Fall Home Maintenance Checklist: 20 Things to Do Every Year,” Family Handyman, https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/fall-home-maintenance-checklist/
“The Essential Fall Home Maintenance & Repair Checklist,” IKO, https://www.iko.com/blog/the-essential-fall-home-maintenance-repair-checklist/
“9 Things You Should Do to Your Home Before Fall Starts,” House Beautiful, https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/cleaning-tips/a22652916/fall-home-maintenance-checklist/
“Fall Home Maintenance Checklist,” Home Serve, https://www.homeserve.com/en-us/blog/home-improvement/fall-home-maintenance-checklist/