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Summer has come and gone and it is time to gear up for the cooler weather before the snow starts falling.

Here are some helpful hints to help you get your house in order while the weather is still bearable.

A well maintained home reduces the risk of damage that may or may not be covered under your home insurance policy.

INSIDE

  • Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum the condenser coils.  For bottom-mounted coils, use a long narrow brush to clean coils of dust and debris.
  • Check and empty the central vacuum’s collection area
  • Clean electronic air cleaner elements monthly for most efficient operation. Consult the manual for specific product recommendations.
  • Clean or replace humidifier elements before the heating season begins.
  • Inspect washer hoses for bulges, cracks or splits. Replace them every other year.
  • Check dryer exhaust tube and vent for built-up lint, debris or birds nests.  Make sure the exterior vent door closes tightly when not in use.
  • Schedule fall furnace inspection now.  Don’t wait for the first cold night.
  • Buy a winters supply of furnace filters.  Change the filters monthly for maximum energy savings and indoor comfort.
  • Drain sediment from hot water heaters.  Check for damage or rust.  Read our helpful blog about water heaters.
  • Inspect your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are operational.  Change the battery when the clocks fall back if applicable.  Also make sure they are not outdated. They do have an expiry date, check the label on side. If there is no expiry date label, it is likely outdated.

OUTSIDE

  • Clean and store patio furniture, umbrellas and children’s toys.  Avoid piling up in front of entrances of garages or sheds
  • Touch up paint on trim, railings and decks.  Secure loose boards on decks.
  • Check caulk around windows and doors.  Follow manufacturer’s recommendations to re-caulk if necessary.
  • Inspect external doors and garage doors.  Install weather-stripping if needed.
  • Wash exterior windows.
  • Drain and store water hoses.  Install insulating covers on exterior spigots. Shut off exterior water and drain
  • Drain the pool if applicable.  Consider hiring a professional to avoid damage when re-opening the pool next season.
  • Check gutters and downspout.  Clear any debris if necessary.  Check for leaks and any wear and tear and fix now before it snows or freezes over.
  • Have chimneys and flues inspected and cleaned if necessary.
  • If you have bags of birdseed to feed the birds in the fall and over winter, make sure the bags are in covered containers. The mice will find them otherwise and camp out in your storage area.
  • Inspect handrails if applicable to ensure they are secure to the wall or posts
  • Check tree branches and lightly trim any that are close to the house or hire a professional. Too much trimming at this time of year can damage a tree, so just do enough to keep the branches out of reach over winter
  • Clear falling leaves from sidewalks and outdoor stairs to avoid a slip and fall.  Return all tools to a safe location to avoid accidentally stepping on.

You will find all kinds of helpful hints online.  Above are a few suggestions to keeping your home well maintained.

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