Each and every home requires regular maintenance to stay safe and
efficient, and fall is one of the best times of year to tackle the basics.
Some tasks can be completed by homeowners, while others are best
left to experienced professionals. Before the winter weather rolls in,
take the time to prepare your home and protect your investment.
1. Prepare Your Heating System — Schedule a professional
checkup and cleaning of your home’s heating system
before you need to turn it on. While you’re at it, switch the
direction of ceiling fans throughout your house to rotate
2. Look for Leaks — Check all doors, windows, attic hatches,
external vents and electrical outlets for air leaks, and add
caulk, weather stripping and insulation to prevent warm air
from escaping. Don’t forget to inspect the roof and replace
any loose or damaged shingles.
3. Check Fire Safety Equipment — Test and/or change the
batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Also, inspect fire extinguishers to ensure they’re in good
4. Prepare Plumbing — Turn off and drain outdoor hoses,
sprinklers and irrigation systems, and consider picking up
faucet covers for outdoor spigots. Protect exposed pipes
and plumbing in uninsulated areas with pipe insulation to
help deter freezes.
5. Tackle Yardwork — Clear fallen debris from the roof and
rain gutters. Now’s also the time to trim branches and
remove any dead trees or shrubs.
6. Update Safety Supplies — Check your emergency
preparedness kit and stock your pantry with water and non-
perishable food just to be safe. If snow or ice are even
remote possibilities in your area this winter, stock up on
rock salt or sand and make sure a shovel and roof rake are