Man cleaning the gutter

Love it or hate it, winter is on its way. You have probably spent some time during the past month readying your outdoor spaces for the winter months, cleaning up the yard, pruning and storing outdoor furniture.

Now that your garden and lawn are prepared for six, frosty months, it’s time to turn your attention to your home and begin the task of winterizing for another frigid season.

1. Every fall, it’s a good idea to change your furnace filter. You’ll probably want to replace or clean it once more before spring arrives. It’s also a good time to call in an HVAC professional to have your heating system inspected.

2. Improve the air quality in your home and save on energy costs by having your ducts cleaned once every two to three years.

3. If you have some notoriously drafty areas in your home, take measures to keep the warm air inside. Window insulation film is effective and affordable and it’s easy to install. You can also invest in some weather stripping for doors and windows and buy or make a few draft snakes to place along the base of doors and windows.

4. Help prevent a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning at home by regularly changing the batteries in these detectors. The Office of the Fire Marshal recommends replacing smoke alarms every ten years, or when it has exceeded the manufacturer’s recommended life cycle.

5. Maximize the hot air in your home reversing your ceiling fans so that the blades run in a clockwise direction. Energy Star recommends this tip to help push the hot air down into the room.

6. Before it gets too cold, inspect the eavestroughs around your entire home. With gloves on or using a trowel, clear out leaves and debris.

7. Turn off the water supply to all outdoor taps after draining thoroughly.

8. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have your chimney cleaned. You should aim to do this once per year.