√ Choose a dry sunny day to open up and air out the basement and crawl spaces. This prevents mold & mildew from growing in the basement areas of your home.
√ Before the cold weather sets in and your heat is turned on, have your furnace & humidifier serviced by a qualified professional. Ensuring maximum furnace efficiency through effective maintenance and filter replacement — could save as much as 10% on your bill. Areas around the furnace should be cleaned to eliminate dust & dirt. Where applicable, exhaust fans & heating recover ventilators should be checked & oiled according to manufacturer’s instructions.
√ Now is a good time to replace your furnace filter – and ensure you have enough filters on hand for a monthly change throughout the winter months. If you have electric baseboard heaters, vacuum to remove dust. Remove the grills on forced-air systems and vacuum inside the ducts.
√ Windows & doors should be examined for gaps allowing air infiltration. You can stop cold drafts from entering by applying weather-stripping around doors & windows, ensuring the seal is snug.
√ Check exterior finishes. Look for signs of moisture penetrating wood siding. Watch for paint that is blistering & peeling. If left unresolved, this problem can lead to water seeping into the interior of your home.
√ When inspecting outside window finishes, check the caulking for signs of deterioration. If caulking is wearing down, remove & re-caulk with a good quality caulking compound to protect against both moisture and cold air entering.
√ Vents, louvers & chimney caps should be checked for birds’ nest or animal intruders. If you use a wood-burning stove or fireplace, make sure your chimney is clear…that means checking for a build-up of creosote in the chimney. Creosote can form quickly and is a major cause of chimney fires. You may be able to see up the chimney, or you could try looking down from the roof. Either way, if you see any build-up, have it removed. Like your furnace, it is a good idea to have your chimney cleaned and checked, by a professional, every year.
√ Drain & store hoses. Don’t forget to close the valve & drain the spigot!
√ Eavestroughs, gutters & downspouts should be cleared of any obstructions; leaves & debris. If eavestroughs are clogged or leaking, you can end up with serious water damage over the winter. Damage that can hard to deal with in the cold weather! And, since you’ve got the ladder out you may want to consider putting up your Christmas lights!
√ Check all outdoor electrical outlets to ensure they are clear of debris & operational. check & clean all oudoor light fixtures. If you used the “yellow” bug-friendly light bulbs in your outdoor fixtures this summer, replace them with brighter bulbs.
√ Remember…it’s time to reverse the direction of all ceiling fans too!
When you are ready to move…selling or buying: