Fall is the ideal time to prepare your home for winter before the temperature starts dropping. Remember, it’s better to be proactive than reactive!
Tip #1 – Inspect your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. As cooler temperatures move in, families turn on the furnace and turn up the water heater, both of which raise the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Take a moment to test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors by pressing the test button and waiting to hear the alarm. This is also the perfect time to replace the batteries.
Tip #2 – Inspect your furnace. Check the filters to see if they need replacing. Most people change them only once a year, but they should be changed every six months, especially if you have pets. Also, make sure the area around your furnace is clean. Clear any nearby dust and debris as well as any items that are blocking the furnaces vents. Is the pilot light burning? If it has gone out, follow the instructions provided on your furnace’s access door. If you run into any problems, call your gas company, who will inspect, adjust, turn off, and relight your gas appliance at no charge.
Tip #3 – Clean your gutters! Preventing clogged gutters and downspouts filled with fall leaves is easiest now, when the gutters are dry. Hang a bucket on the side of the gutter to collect the debris you remove. The leaves can be added to your compost pile. Once the majority of the leaves and gunk are clear, rinse the gutters with your garden hose.
Tip #4 – Flush your water heater. To keep your water heater operating efficiently, flush it out once a year. Remember to be careful when draining the tank; the water can be scalding hot!