Come Labor Day, after a few months of outdoor fun in the sun, you may start to think about moving indoors again. The kids have headed back to school, leaves are starting to turn color and the days are getting cooler and shorter.

During this time when summer is winding down, but autumn hasn’t quite set in, it’s a good idea to take on some fall home maintenance projects. Most of these tasks typically take just a few hours or less to complete and can help you get your home ready for fall, both inside and out.

Touch Up Exterior Paint

If it’s been a while since you painted your house, you may want to consider touching up the exterior paint. This is a job you may want to do yourself (though you can always hire a professional if you’re uncomfortable doing so). Start by examining your house and look for areas where the paint is chipping. Then, take a chip from the existing paint to the hardware store to do a match. Gather your supplies: paint, paintbrush, scraper, rags, and drop cloths to help protect the surrounding area. Pro tip: Remember to consider the weather before you start. Pick a day that’s low in humidity and dry.

Trim Trees

Before it gets cold out, trim all your trees and shrubs. Also, remove any dead branches or tree limbs that may pose a hazard to your home in the event of a storm.

Improve Porch Lighting

Make sure your porch lights are up to date and functional. You should also make sure that the path from the driveway (and/or sidewalk) to your front door is well lit, has no low-hanging branches, and doesn’t have any tripping hazards.

Plant Fall Blooming Flowers

It isn’t too late to have some fall color in your garden. Consider planting some fall-blooming perennials. Goldenrod, mums, crocus, and many varieties of aster are all good choices.

Wrap Up Interior Painting Projects

Typically, it’s easier to paint inside when it’s warm and dry outside. You can open the windows to air out your space, and the paint dries faster as well. So, in the last few weeks of summer, consider whether any of your rooms need repainting or you just want to spruce things up with a new paint color.

Tune-up and Store Your Window Air Conditioners

Now is a perfect time to do some routine maintenance on your window air conditions before you store it for the season. This way, it can be ready for use as soon as the warm weather comes back next season. See Jane Drill recommends: cleaning the air filters and fins, straightening out any bent fins, and oiling the motor (if your unit requires it – check the owners manual). Or, you can also have your air conditions professionally serviced.

Clean Your Drains

Unclogging your drains can be done at any time of the year, but you may want to consider taking care of this task now, well before the holiday season. To help clear hair and debris clogs in your bathtub, try using a plumber’s snake. If that doesn’t work, you can call a professional plumber to assist.

Change Out Your Furnace Air Filter

This is a simple task that should only take you a few minutes. Take your existing furnace air filter to the home improvement store to be sure you’re getting an exact match. Install the new air filter and have the peace of mind knowing your furnace is circulating clean air when you turn on the heat in a few weeks. If you haven’t done so already, you may also want to consider getting your furnace checked to make sure it’s ready to go for the colder weather.

Dust Refrigerator Coils

The coils for your refrigerator have worked hard all summer to release heat from the motor, helping ensure that your refrigerator runs efficiently. Yet when it comes to cleaning them, the coils are often “out of sight, out of mind.” When they’re clogged with dirt and dust, it may reduce their efficiency and potentially shorten the life of your refrigerator. Fortunately, these coils can be simply cleaned with the following steps from Real Simple:

  • Start by storing your food in a cooler and shutting off the water to your ice maker.
  • Pull out your refrigerator and unplug it.
  • Take a coil-cleaning brush and dust the coils. You can also use a brush attachment on your vacuum to clean up the dust.
  • Finally, wipe down the wall and floor before plugging and sliding the refrigerator back into place.

Now, your home is almost ready for fall, and you’re ready to enjoy the cool weather, the fall holidays and fun times with family and friends. You can do this!