Preparing your home for heating season

Fall is here already. Before we know it, heating season will begin.

If you haven’t completed your fall home maintenance checklist, now is the time to do it.

These simple maintenance tips can help ensure that you have a comfortable home in fall and winter, and ensure that your property will be ready for spring.

Exterior: While the weather is still reasonable, take the time to check for obvious problems. Your gutters should be free of leaves and dirt, which you may have to check more than once. If you have a chimney, check for and remove any obstructions to the airflow. Consider installing glass doors for your fireplace to reduce heat loss. Look for cracked or peeling paint, as this can be a sign that your siding is about to fail. Then, inspect the foundation and walls for cracks. Seal them with caulking or spray foam.

Yard: Fall home maintenance means all areas of your property. Once the leaves have fallen, take the time to rake them up. Perform basic maintenance on all your greenery, pruning back any trees or bushes that obstruct the airflow on your HVAC systems. Get your yard tools and summer equipment in order. Clean and put away lawn furniture, and drain fuel from any gas-powered machines such as lawn mowers.

Interior: Search for and eliminate air leaks. Make sure your windows and doors shut tightly, and replace screens with storm windows. If you find leaks, seal them properly with caulking and weatherstripping. And don’t forget about energy efficiency. Change the direction of your ceiling fans to create an upward draft, which will better circulate heated air gathering at the ceiling. Then, make sure your heating system is ready to go. Besides scheduling annual maintenance, you can confirm that the furnace pilot is lit and that the heat turns on correctly. Also, check the furnace air filter and clean or replace it as necessary.