(StatePoint) It’s that time of year: pumpkin spice is here and so are shorter days and cooler nights. Before nightfall comes too early, take advantage of the milder temps to prepare your home for winter. Here are a few easy, DIY tasks to check off your list. 

1. Close Up the Patio

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It’s important to protect patio items from winter wear and tear so you can enjoy them as soon as the weather breaks in the spring.

When the weather in your area seems to be changing for good, clean outdoor furniture like tables, chairs and décor and protect them with a heavy-duty cover. If you don’t have interior storage, secure everything tightly so you don’t risk items tipping during a gusty winter storm. Clean the grill, remove and store the tank, and winterize outdoor hoses and faucets. Easy-to-install faucet covers can help prevent water damage and freezing pipes.

Also, don’t forget to plant your bulbs now so you’ll have flowers to welcome you when the warm weather hits.

2. Secure Loose Shingles and Fix Broken Gutters

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Assess your roof and gutters to ensure your home is safe from water damage and leaks this winter. If you suspect or discover a problem, even a small one, don’t wait to fix it. It will be even more difficult to repair after the roof has become snowy and icy.

If it’s not within budget, try a DIY fix with supplies you likely already have in your toolbox. The Original Duck Tape Brand Duct Tape is a classic tool for temporary repairs and is great for holding, seaming and sealing coverings over problematic areas until you can later fix the issue at hand.

3. Prep A/C Units

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Don’t overlook keeping your A/C unit clean. Most modern units are created to withstand extreme elements; however, keeping it free of buildup is key to maintaining it over time.

When it’s not in use over winter, clean the surfaces on and around the unit to keep it free from buildup of dander, leaves, acorns and pine needles. Next, using an air conditioner cover, securely protect your A/C unit from snow and ice, so that it’s still in its best working condition when you uncover it in the spring.

4. Keep Cold Weather Out

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Frigid temperatures draw attention to drafts coming into your home. While turning up the furnace helps, the constant escape of warm air leads to high heating costs. 

Seal cracks and gaps around windows and doors wisely. Many seals tend to freeze and crack, never really fixing the problem. However, Duck Brand Heavy-Duty Weatherstrip Seals are made with a durable, flexible material, creating a barrier against cold air throughout the winter. When spring arrives, the strip will work against dust, pollen and insects throughout the warmer months.

5. Clean Windows

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Prepare your home for short gloomy days and long nights by giving windows and blinds a deep clean. When these surfaces are clean, natural light can pour in during the day, helping combat winter blues.

For more tips, visit DuckBrand.com.

A little extra effort this fall can make your home more enjoyable all winter long.

Photo 1 Credit: (c) gorillaimages / Shutterstock

Photo 2 Credit: (c) Duck Brand

Photo 3 Credit: (c) Duck Brand

Photo 4 Credit: (c) Duck Brand

Photo 5 Credit: (c) Duck Brand