As the coldness looms and you prepare to pump the heat, it's important to protect your home from potential damage and address heat and energy leaks. These seven simple tasks will help you stay warm, safe and energy-conscious this winter.
Get your fireplace set for the fire. look inside for build-up, bird's nests or obvious cracks. From the outside, check for broken bricks and crumbling mortar. You should have your chimney professionally cleaned every other year.
Clear out the gutters. Clogged gutters block the drainage of rain and melting snow, resulting in household leaks and damage to landscape and foundation.
Don’t forget about heating maintenance. Is your heating system ready to weather the winter? Have a professional check your heating system and ensure it's in good working order before you turn it on. Schedule checks for your furnace, venting system and chimney. Don't forget to replace the batteries on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, in case any of your heating systems are overworking.
Consider scheduling a traditional 'fall cleaning'. In your garage, organize the remains of your summer projects and clean and store gardening tools. Like a seasonal turning of your closet, push what you won't be needing―the lawn-mower, hedge trimmer, rakes and summer toys―to the back and bring any winter necessities―shovels, snow blowers, skis and sleds―to the front. Set out salt and gravel containers, and you'll thank yourself the first time the ice hits.