Before you carve that jack-o-lantern, make sure you and your home are ready for fall by going through this checklist.

  • Check your heating systems. As we all know, autumn brings cooler temperatures so it’s important to check your heating system. Schedule a professional inspection for your HVAC unit or furnace. If you use a wood burning fireplace, have a professional inspect and clean your chimney. Additionally, check the weather-stripping throughout your house, especially around windows and your garage. Prevent drafts can dramatically lower your heating bill.
  • Refresh your alarms. Check the batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm. As you spend more time indoors and use your furnace, it is important to make sure you’re safe inside your home.
  • Clear out that foliage. While those colorful leaves look awfully pretty in the trees, they can become a hazard if they fill your gutters. Remove leaves and other debris from your drainpipes, gutters, and downspouts.
  • Wrap up your pipes. To prevent freezing and even bursting, make sure your pipes are well insulated. And, make sure you know where to turn off your water in case the pipes do freeze.
  • Tame those trees (and shrubs). The best time to prune shrubs and trees is after the leaves turn; this will encourage healthy growth. Also, make sure you trim any branches that are too close to your roof or power lines. Snow and ice can weigh limbs down and cause them to break off, possibly damaging your home and even taking out your power.
  • Warm your floors. Instead of stepping on an icy tile floor, put down rugs or install carpet to make your home cozy. You can even install cork floors which stay much warmer than traditional hardwood or tile.   

Taking these steps to prepare your home means that you will be safer, warmer, and happier during the coming colder months.