Take Some Time to Be Sure Your Home is Ready for the Coming Months

 

Schedule an HVAC call

Don’t wait until the first bitterly cold day to finally turn on your furnace. If you have any issues, you’ll want to know before the bitter cold weather appears.  Pay attention to any strange odors or unusual noises coming from your furnace, so you can let the service technician know.  And be sure to replace your furnace filter every 3 months.

Check for air leaks

Lower temperatures mean higher thermostat settings, and we all have felt the pain of opening a heating bill in the dead of winter!  Check all of your windows and doors for air leaks.  It’s pretty easy to fix leaky doors and windows by caulking around gaps, adding or updating the weather-stripping, and using foam sealant.  Local utility companies also offer free energy audits and provide free or low cost materials and installation.

Have the chimney cleaned

If you have a fireplace, fall is a great time to give it a thorough cleaning and inspection – before you start using it frequently throughout the cold weather and holidays.  A professional chimney sweep will remove creosote (which contains tar and toxins) and will reduce the risk of a fire.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

We’ve all seen the news stories each winter about a tragic death due to carbon monoxide detectors not working.  It’s easy to forget about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with everything else going on in your life - but they will save your life!  Be sure to test all of your detectors, and replace any that are more than 10 years old. 

Run ceiling fans in reverse

Did you know you can reverse the direction of ceiling fans?  Reversing the direction of your ceiling fans helps circulate warm air near the ceiling back into your living space, helping to reduce heating costs.

Clean gutters and downspouts

Remove leaves, sticks and other debris from your gutters and downspouts (or call in a pro to do it).  If gutters aren’t clear it can result in rain and melting snow not being able to drain easily, which can cause seepage and leaks into your home. 

Disconnect and empty garden hoses

Disconnect hoses and let them drain on an angle.  Once the hose is empty, coil it up and pack it away for the season.  A frozen hose can cause the water inside the wall to freeze and burst, or cause ice to build on a garage floor, causing a slipping hazard.

Put away summer garden equipment

If you won’t use it until spring, then don’t leave equipment outside.  Not only might items rust or rot, they might also become buried in snow and become an unseen hazard.  While you’re at it, be sure your snow blower is ready to work.  The snow could start flying at any time!