Take a few minutes out of your pool time this month to do these four tasks.
Then you'll have more time to eat popcorn in front of the fire next January.
#1 Call the Snow Plow Now
If you live in snow-prone areas, now's the time to get your name on the snow-plow contractor's schedule. By the time your car's buried in the driveway, their rosters will be full.
#2 Schedule Furnace Service
Get ready for sweater weather — and beat the rush — by scheduling the annual fall service for your furnace now. If you don't already have one, ask about your HVAC company's twice-a-year maintenance plan. Often, you can get discounted rates, not just for the service plan, but for larger repairs, too.
#3 Get a Home Energy Audit
Save money this winter by scheduling a professional energy audit now. Not only will you learn where your home is prone to energy loss, your auditor may recommend inexpensive ways to save money (like caulking around the baseboards). Energy.gov has info on how pro and DIY energy audits work. Find energy auditors through the Residential Energy Services Network.
#4 Plant Trees
Trees increase home value, so give yours the best start by planting them at the right time. In zones 4-8 (which is most of the United States), that's late summer and early fall. This gives them time to establish roots before next summer's heat and drought.
Related: When's the Best Time to Plant Trees?