As the leaves change and the days get shorter, take time this autumn to prep your home for winter with these simple tips:
Heating system maintenance
Change and stock up on air filters for your furnace before the weather gets cold. Call an HVAC contractor to test the heating output and give the system a tune-up, as well as check for hazardous carbon monoxide levels. In extremely cold weather conditions, consider leaving your thermostat at a set level.
Check the fireplace, wood stove, and/or chimney
If you’ll be using the fireplace or wood stove often, call a chimney sweep for an inspection. Seasoned wood is best for fires, as it burns cleaner and longer.
Review home fire safety
Check fire extinguishers and replace them if necessary and change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
Clean out gutters
It’s best to inspect and clean your gutters and downspouts a few times during the fall, especially if there are many trees around your house. If they remain clogged, it could damage the foundation, flood basements, or cause walkways or driveways to become slippery or icy.
Rake or blow the leaves into piles and put them at the curb according to your town’s yard waste requirements. When sweeping the leaves off your patio, don’t forget to clean, pack up and store any patio furniture for the winter. Disconnect garden hoses and, if practical, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.
Test your emergency generator
Make sure you never run the generator in an enclosed space — like your garage — as it will present a carbon monoxide hazard.
Inspect your roof
Inspect your roof from a ladder or hire a licensed professional to review the condition of your roof. Look for any wear and tear that might have happened during the previous season’s severe storms. If any shingles are curling, buckling or cracking, replace them.