With fall just around the corner, there are some things you may want to consider taking care of to make sure that your house performs optimally over the winter, and that your property is ready to spring back once winter is over. Below is a checklist of things to help with just that. Some of these may be new suggestions, while others may already be common practice for you.  The list is broken down between indoor and outdoor tasks and can be completed in no particular order.


Outdoor Maintenance

1. Prepare your gardens for next year

  • Weed and till your gardens so the ground is ready for planting next year.  Avoid doing this in areas you’ve planted perennials.
  • Trim dead wood and water shoots from your trees
  • Remove potentially dangerous branches that could cause damage to your property in strong winds or in case of ice storms.

2. Prepare your outdoor faucets

  • Remove and drain all hoses.
  • Turn off all exterior faucets to avoid damage via freezing pipes.

3. Clean the gutters

  • If this hasn’t been cleaned regularly it is a good thing to do before winter hits to ensure there are no blockages, which can in turn lead to leaks and water damage in your home.

4. Check your roof/chimney stack for leaks or wear

  • By checking for warn shingles, or cracks around seals you can help prevent potential water damage and leaks.
  • If you enjoy having fires in the winter, ensure the chimney is clean and when not in use, the flue is closed.  If you leave the flue open the heat you’re building up in your house escapes,and cold air is drawn in.

5. Snow Blower maintenance

  • If you have a snowblower, now is the time to make sure it’s up and running.  Not much is worse than going to use your snowblower on the first heavy snowfall and realizing it isn’t working.

Indoor Maintenance

1.  Make sure your furnace is maintained

  • Schedule a heating inspection for mid fall as the contractors are generally less busy.  During this inspection they can verify the thermostat, safety controls and pressure switches are functioning properly.
  • Turn it on one day mid fall, for a brief period when you can have the windows open, to avoid that burning dust smell on the first day you really need to heat your house.

2. Check your house for drafts.

  • Check windows, doors, electrical outlets,
  • To do this, close all doors and windows, and shut off your heating/cooling system.  Then turn on your range vent and bathroom vents to create a draft.  Then walk around your house with something like a candle or incense to see where you have draft leaks, and mark it with painters tape.
  • Apply weatherstripping, caulking, or door seals, to fix the noted areas.

3. Change your ceiling fan direction

  • In the summer you want an downdraft(forward motion) from your ceiling fans to keep the cold air down, but in the winter you want an updraft(reverse motion) to redistribute the warm air throughout the room/house.

Just remember that this is a general list of things to consider taking care of before winter hits.  Your house may have other additional requirements, but if you’ve completed this list you’re on the track to getting them all done!

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