As incredible as it may seem, today officially marks the first day of fall!
To be very precise, the fall equinox, as it is known, begins at 2:02pm Albuquerque time when the center of the sun will be directly over the equator. From then on, the sun will gradually become lower in the sky and the days will be shorter, right up to the winter solstice, which occurs on December 21st.
While our local weather doesn't exactly feel autumnal right now, it won't be long at all before fall makes its presence felt, especially at higher elevations, so it makes total sense to start preparations sooner rather than later.
So here are ten great tips to help you make the weather changes we'll undergo in the coming weeks as smooth as possible:
Test your exterior lighting - With fewer daylight hours ahead, it's a great idea to replace any light bulbs that aren't working, so that you have good external lighting, which can be especially important if where you live is prone to a lot of ice as winter approaches.
Ceiling fans - Reverse the airflow to redirect rising heat and look forward to turning down your thermostat!
Seal holes and gaps - All kinds of critters will be seeking shelter in the coming weeks, so sealing holes and gaps in your home's external envelope right now means they'll have a tougher time using your interior as their fall/winter retreat.
Look after trees and shrubs - Pruning of trees and shrubs is very important to greatly reduce the potential for falling branches etc. in storm conditions. Also keep looking for any signs that might indicate some necessary treatment, including very early leaf colour changes, thin or brown pines and dead branches.
Weather sealing - An air tight home is an important thing all year. In recent months, correct sealing of building apertures like windows and doors helped to keep your conditioned air in the home. In fall and winter, the focus gradually changes to retaining heat. What's constant all year is the need to ensure that any air leaks are dealt with by using weatherstripping indoors and caulking or another appropriate sealant outside. Draft stoppers are great for the base of doors.
Clean gutters and downspouts - Falling leaves can quickly block your rainwater management systems at just the time when you'll need them most, so be sure to clean gutters and downpipes whenever there's a potential blockage situation.
External repairs - Roofs and siding materials need to be of good integrity to protect your home from the ravages of the bad weather to come, so now is the time to fix any problems. Also check foundations for cracks, sealing around those areas where masonry meets siding and at locations where pipes or wires enter your home. Re-point any brick fascias that need renovating.
Protect your foundations - Many homeowners fail to appreciate that foundations can be damaged if rainwater is allowed to run into them. That's why your downspouts shouldn't be allowed to dispense water directly downwards and into the foundations. A great way to avoid this is to visit your local hardware store and buy some flexible downspout extensions, enabling you to direct water away from where it can be most harmful.
Sprinkler systems - These should be switched off before it freezes. Some are self draining or can be cleared with an air hose.
Get your heating system serviced - There's nothing worse, or more likely, than a heating system that fails just as the temperature drops to the point that it's essential. Save yourself any unpleasant surprises in this area by getting your heating system serviced now.
We hope you'll find these tips useful in the coming weeks. As ever, don't hesitate to contact us to discuss any aspect of Albuquerque area real estate.