While many of us are reluctant to admit that fall is in the air, this is one of the most crucial times to complete important checks in and around your home to ensure you have everything in order before temperatures really start to drop.

Your seasonal homeowner to-do list includes completing regular maintenance checks and balances to help prevent the most common – and also costly – problems from occurring. Be sure to take notes and snap pictures of anything you’d like to share with an expert for advice or to help monitor the situation moving forward.

The following checklist will help guide you in keeping your home a safe and healthy place to live this fall and throughout the coming year.

10 Key Items to Add to Your Fall Checklist:

Book an appointment with a qualified company – annually for an oil furnace and every two years for gas.

This should be completed each month throughout the heating season. Ventilation systems, such as heat recovery ventilator filters, should be checked every two months.

Replace window screens with storm windows. Remove screens from inside casement windows to allow air from the heating system to keep condensation off window glass. Ensure windows and skylights close tightly. Replenish weather stripping as required.

Ensure all doors leading outside are shut tightly and check other doors for ease of use. Replenish door weather stripping as required. If there’s a door between your house and garage, check adjustment of the self-closing device to ensure it completely closes the door.

This will help prevent heavy snow and ice from bending ac blades.

Ensure the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall so water doesn’t drain into the basement.

Clean leaves from eavestroughs and roof, and test downspouts to ensure proper drainage from the roof.

Clear all obstructions such as nests.

Drain and store outdoor hoses. Close the valve to the outdoor hose connection and drain the hose bib (exterior faucet), unless your house has frost-proof hose bibs.

This includes everything from storing outdoor furniture to preparing gardens and, if necessary, protecting young/vulnerable trees or bushes from harsh winter conditions.

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