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Summer’s Over! How to Prepare Your Home for Fall

Today is the first day of Fall, and the leaves are already starting to turn. Though it might not feel like Autumn is quite here, with the weather still so hot, it’s time to start preparing your home for the cooler temperatures of Autumn and Winter in Iowa.

1. Weather Proof Your Doors & Windows

Sealing the cold out and the heat in might be the most obvious way to save hassle and money in the months of extreme weather, but it’s often overlooked. If you have a draft anywhere in your home, correcting that in the transitional months is the most cost effective option, and gets you the most out of your heating system in the late fall and winter.

 2. Get Your Furnace Serviced

When is the last time you replaced your furnace filter? Depending on your furnace, it is typically recommended to switch out the filter at least once per month or every three months. Even if you’re religious about replacing your filters, normal wear and tear on a furnace is best maintained and resolved by an annual furnace tune-up. Reach out to our friends at G & A Mechanical* for a quote!

 3. When’s the Last Time You Cleaned Your Fireplace?

DIY cleaning your fireplace is mandatory at least annually, depending on use and you should have a professional chimney sweep done every three years. Using a fireplace for heat in the living room is a great way to save on energy costs. Even if you’re not planning to use it, there may come a day this winter when cozying up by the fireplace sounds like a great way to spend an evening with your family, or snuggled up with a good book. The last thing you want is a chimney fire because you neglected to clean your fireplace. A quick search for local chimney cleaners with the highest customer ratings turned up Des Moines Chimney Sweep* as a solid choice.

 4. Gutter Maintenance

There’s no way around it, cleaning the gutters sucks. It’s dirty, and up high, and no one wants to draw that chore straw. If you want to have someone else do it instead, there are several affordable options locally including Beaverdale Gutter*. There are several important reasons to clean your gutters. Clean gutters help avoid: flooding in your home from rainwater, foundation damage, and roof damage from icicles forming, to name a few.

 5. Pest Control

Get your house treated for pests. Treating your home in the transitional seasons, and again in the crux of extreme weather is the best way to keep Charlotte’s Web out of your home and in the garage, where it belongs. Spiders aren’t the only cold-season offender, Ants, Flies, Mosquitoes, and even Rodents can make their way into your home for warmth. If you’re feeling confident, go with some bug bombs, available at your neighborhood friendly hardware stores. If you want to handle it and never think about it again, call Peace of Mind Inspections*.

6. Rotate Your Ceiling Fans

Do you have ceiling fans in your living room? Dining room? Bedrooms? If you do, check out this fun fact: Changing the direction your ceiling fans spin (simple switch feature on most modern ceiling fans) can make your home feel warmer or cooler, depending on the position of the vents in your home. This is a completely free option to make your home more comfortable in seasons of extreme weather temperatures.

 7. Protector for Outdoor Water Systems

Spend $2-12 per faucet covering for your outdoor faucets, save hundreds on frozen pipe repairs. Buying these in the transitional season is not only cost-effective, but they are more available in stores now than once the weather starts to get cold. These sell out within days after the first freeze. Buying them now will save you time and frustration, and protect you from a potential freeze before the temperature drops. ACE Hardware* has several locations around the metro, and excellent customer service to help you find what you need.

 8. Re-program Your Thermostat

Programming your thermostat is a proven method to reduce your energy bills while keeping your home comfortable. If no one is home between the hours of 9 and 5, give your heat system a break and let the temperature drop down to 65° during the day, and have it pick back up into your preferred temperature at 4:00pm. Feel free to drop the temperature during sleeping hours, just make sure it’s nice and warmed up by the time you wake up.


 About Jamie Stokka
Jamie is a Des Moines native. She aspires to one day own her own home, and in the meantime, wants to help all her friends transition from renting to owning by learning the ins-and-outs of the real estate market. Jamie currently supports a team of 30+ realtors as the Office Manager at EXIT Realty Capital City, she brings a unique perspective to the brokerage: a six-year background in Marketing and Advertising with a focus on digital media. Her desire to truly understand every aspect of the real estate market, combined with her sponge-like ability to absorb information makes her an incredible asset to the team. When she’s not in the office, she enjoys adventuring around the metro area with her two dogs, Calvin the Corgi and Ruby the Beagle, and playing the role of Proud Aunt to her toddler niece, Emma. Her dream home is a small bungalow or cottage with a large fenced-in yard, so she can have more dogs.

About EXIT Realty Capital City
EXIT Realty Capital City is helping people buy and sell homes all over the Greater Des Moines Area. Whether you’re looking to sell or purchase, the experts at EXIT Realty Capital City provide knowledge, professional services, and an innovative approach to today’s complex real estate market. Our team of experienced, full-time real estate agents is ready to walk you through the buying or selling process. Whatever your real estate needs, we’re a team that cares, will listen, and will represent you to the best of our ability with honesty and integrity. At EXIT Realty Capital City, we advocate, we educate, we innovate.

Recommended Vendors

ACE Hardware
4808 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311

Beaverdale Gutter
3015 62nd St, Des Moines, IA 50322

G & A Mechanical
5881 NE 11th Ct, Des Moines, IA 50313

Des Moines Chimney Sweep
7500 Bloomfield Road Lot 30, Des Moines, IA 50320

Peace of Mind Inspections
6565 Wistful Vista Dr, Suite 13108, West Des Moines, IA 50266



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Shauna did an excellent job of consulting with me and my family about how we should prepare our property for market and, once it was ready for market, how we wanted to show and list our property for the best possible exposure. Also, she did an excellent job of representing my family’s interests during the negotiation stage leading up to finalizing the sale.