4 things you can do this fall to prepare your home for winter

Now that fall is here, it’s time to start thinking about getting your home ready for the colder months to come. Proper maintenance will not only ensure that your home is better protected from damage, but also make sure that it provides your family with a warm and safe indoor environment when it’s freezing outside. Here are four steps experts recommend:

1. Check your furnace
Have your furnace serviced by a professional to confirmits working efficiently and help extend its lifespan. It’s a good idea to replace the furnace filter at the beginning of the heating season, and every one to three months afterwards. Finally, inspect the external exhaust to ensure it’s not clogged with debris – a blocked furnace exhaust can lead to poorer performance and dangerous carbon monoxide buildup in your home.

2. Inspect your roof and eavestroughs
A roof and exterior drainage system in good working order keeps water out of your home when rooftop snow melts. Have a professional roofing company take a look to ensure that shingles and flashing are all in place and properly sealed. Inspect eavestroughs for damage and remove leaves and other debris that may cause blockages. At ground level, check your downspouts to ensure they direct water away from foundation walls.

3. Clean and inspect your chimney
If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, make sure it’s ready for winter before you start using it. It is highly recommended that you have your chimney cleaned annually to remove soot and other debris that can ignite and lead to fires. You should also check for cracks, loose bricks or other kinds of deterioration. Keep in mind that if you own a newly built home, your warranty may cover some of these issues.

4. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
While they are a critical part of home safety all year round, your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are even more important during winter when windows are shut and the heating is on, since there’s less air circulating. Take a few minutes to test them and, if necessary, replace their batteries.

credit – newscanada.com