Ushering in Autumn

Posted on Oct 22 2023 in Fulton County REMC
TJ Garner
TJ Garner
COO/Energy Advisor

Welcome to autumn in Indiana, where one day it can be 60 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny, and the next day it’s 30 degrees with rain or snow. Fall is my favorite time of the year, and in the small poll I conducted, it seems as if it is everyone’s favorite season. Now, in full disclosure, this poll was conducted on the way to take my daughter to school, and it was just the two of us in the car, so you can use those polling numbers at your own discretion.

I think it is true, though — if you moved from the state, what season would you miss the most? I’m sure there are a few people reading this that would say “winter, because of the snow,” and that’s fine! I like a day or two with snow as well. The beauty of autumn in Indiana is that we usually get a little snow, too, and that is just enough for me.

Weather aside, one of the biggest reasons that I enjoy fall is football season. While my beloved Chicago Bears might not always give me a reason to celebrate, fall still gives me that hope that things could turn around if the team is doing poorly. Or, better yet, if the team is doing well, it can make me optimistic for the future.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other thing about fall that gets many of you excited: pumpkin spice everything. Listen, I like it, but stop adding it to everything! Pumpkins should be carved on the porch or put in a pie. OK, maybe pumpkin spice is also nice in the occasional latte, because, come on — I’m not an animal! I do enjoy those.

Every year, I remind everyone to get their house winter-ready in the fall, and this year is no different. Getting your home winter-ready is essential to ensure comfort and energy efficiency when the colder months arrive. Start by focusing on four key areas: insulation, heating system maintenance, dryer vent cleaning and outdoor preparation.

First, check your home’s insulation. Proper insulation is like a warm blanket for your house, preventing heat from escaping and cold air from infiltrating. Check your attic, walls and basement for any gaps or inadequate insulation. Seal any drafts around doors and windows using weatherstripping and caulk. Consider adding insulation if necessary to maintain a cozy indoor environment.

Second, schedule a professional inspection and maintenance for your heating system. A well-maintained furnace or heat pump operates efficiently and reduces the risk of breakdowns during the winter. Change or clean the air filters regularly and ensure all vents are clear.

Third, cleaning out your dryer vent is an often overlooked but crucial step in preparing your home for winter. Lint buildup in dryer vents not only reduces the efficiency of your dryer but also poses a fire hazard. During the fall, take the time to disconnect the dryer from the vent and thoroughly clean out any accumulated lint. You may need to remove the vent pipe and use a specialized brush or vacuum attachment to reach deep into the vent system. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your dryer operates efficiently, which can save you energy and reduce drying times.

Last, don’t forget about outdoor preparation. Clean out gutters and downspouts to prevent ice dams and water damage. Stock up on winter essentials, such as salt or sand, for de-icing walkways and driveways. Additionally, check your outdoor faucets and remove the hoses from them, and if necessary, shut off the water supply to prevent pipe damage.

Take a little time this fall to prepare for winter. While I’m sitting on my couch wrapped in a blanket, watching football and drinking my pumpkin spice latte, I will be comforted in knowing that I prepped my house for the impending colder weather.

by TJ GarnerCOO/Energy AdvisorFulton County REMC