Autumn Upkeep


fallLiving Green

Autumn Upkeep

By Jathy Garcia

FALL EQUINOX commenced on Sept 22 at 10:41 am, with the season of autumn upon us we should prepare for upcoming changes. Many of us Floridians don’t necessarily see the changes in the season but there are still many Eco friendly activities to participate during this time of year.

Here are some ideas:

Check the air pressure in your tires. Cooler temperatures lower tire pressure and that, in turn, lowers fuel efficiency. So check your tires and make sure that they are properly inflated.

Vacuum the refrigerator coils to keep the compressor running efficiently. It’s also a good time to check that the refrigerator is level … the door should automatically swing shut instead of staying open. Check the seal on the door … try closing it on a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill out easily, it’s time to replace the gaskets. Here’s another tip for running the refrigerator efficiently … don’t over fill it. Allowing room for cool air to circulate will keep everything at the right temperature.

Clean the ducts and area behind the dryer. And don’t forget, clean the filter after every use and every once in a while, give it a good wash. (For Dryer vent cleaning company, call Matt

Check windows for proper caulking. If you have single-pane windows, add storm windows. Even a plastic film over windows will reduce heat loss.

Check doors for weather stripping and replace as necessary. If drafts sneak in under exterior doors, replace the threshold or block the drafts with a rolled-up towel or blanket.

Check your roof for any missing or damaged tiles or shingles.

Clean the roof gutters and make sure downspouts are pointed away from the house. Now would also be a good time to install a rain barrel … rather than allow water to drain into one spot, a rain barrel would allow you to direct the water to where it’s most needed.

Check for water leaks both inside and outside the home.

Wrap the water heater in an insulating blanket it will help prevent heat loss into the floor, and could save you another 4%–9% of water heating energy.

If you have a ceiling fan, reverse the direction … the fan should be run in a clockwise direction (stand under the fan and if you feel a breeze, reverse the direction so that air is being drawn upwards). This pushes the air up against the ceiling and down the walls, to gently re-circulate the warm air without creating a cooling “wind chill effect.”

Bring in any houseplants that have spent the summer outdoors. They’ll help clean the air.

As the autumn leaves begin to fall, consider raking them up rather than using a “blower” (much greener on the environment & saves electricity). Once raked up, use them as mulch to protect plants throughout the winter or add them to a compost pile.

Before packing away those summer clothes, go through them and determine which items to keep, which items to repurpose into something else (cleaning rags, craft projects, etc.) and which to donate.

As Benjamin Franklin would say: “By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail.”  So, be proactive; and as always if you have any questions or input email me at

Tips courtesy of