As much as we may want to resist, the leaves have fallen in most of Muskoka and Thanksgiving is this weekend! It’s time to start preparing our homes for the cooler weather. Here is my check list of things to do so that you won’t have any nasty surprises as Jack Frost starts to nip at our noses!
- Check for drafts. Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. A good tip is to use a lighted candle and watch for the flame to flicker. If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and door frames. Consider buying heavier or insulated drapery for especially drafty windows.
- Clean your furnace by vacuuming it in the areas you can get to safely and change the filter. If you furnace has not had regular maintenance consider hiring an HVAC professional to test for leaks and check heating efficiency. They can also do a carbon monoxide check to ensure air safety. It’s also a good idea to stock up on extra filters and change them every few months.
- Winterize air conditioning. If your wonderful Bracebridge home has central air conditioning you won’t be needing it again until late spring or summer. It may be necessary to cover your outdoor unit for winter. If you use window air conditioning units, remove them or cover to prevent air leaks.
- Programmable thermostat. Buy a programmable thermostat, if you don’t have one. If you already have one, check the temperature settings. Setting your thermostat to lower the temperature automatically at night and when you’re not home, can result in substantial cost savings.
- Test home safety devices. Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices and test to make sure they’re working properly. I know that the clocks do not go back until the end of the month but get a jump on it and do it now!
- Clean humidifiers. Replace old filters and clean inside compartment. Vinegar is inexpensive and works well or use a lime/calcium removal product.
- Take a look at the roof and make sure the shingles do not look badly worn especially in the valleys. Ice is very invasive and can lift a tired shingle causing a leak. A repair now is likely much less expensive than one after there is a leak.
- Check the gutters to make sure they are not full of leaves. Leaves will hold the water and could cause a backup or freeze causing expansion and possible splitting and leaking.
- Turn off outside plumbing so that it cannot freeze. Properly drain the garden hose and store in a dry place.
- Test the snow blower if you have one. The first snow storm is not the best time to find out the belt is broken. Getting it serviced now if it is older can save you some heartache and some back ache!
These are some of the items that need doing. I‘m sure I have missed 1 or 2 others but once you get started you’ll fill in the blanks. Remember if there is anything I can assist you with, I am only a click or a call away.