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Getting Your Home Ready For Winter

Though the thermostat is going to reach the high 70's today here in Indiana - a rare treat for late October - Fall is here. That means the inevitable frost, ice and snow are not far behind. It's time to take some time and prepare your home for changes in temperature and humidity.

1. Get your furnace inspected. Call your friendly neighborhood HVAC expert and have them give your system a thorough once-over. Get the best furnace filter our budget permits and have it available when your tech shows up. Consider a programmable thermostat to save energy. And clean up the area surrounding your furnace. Be especially aware of removing any flammable materials.

2. Get the fireplace inspected. Once again, bring in an expert. Make sure there's an adequate cap and screen in place. Make sure the damper opens and closes properly. And make sure the flue liner and firebox are properly mortared.

3. Check your doors and windows. Look for cracks or exposed entry points around pipes and utility lines. Use spray foam to seal the gaps. Replace worn weatherstripping. Replace cracked glass and paint any exposed wood around windows. Switch out screens for storm windows. And make an extra key and hide it outside somewhere. The last thing you want is to be locked out in the freezing cold.

4. Inspect Roof, Gutters and Downspouts. Be careful! If you are not comfortable getting up on a ladder, call a pro. Make sure the gutters are clean, the downspouts are clear, and that there are no missing shingles. Consider adding extra attic insulation.

5. Get the garage ready. Drain the gas from the lawnmower. Service the show blower. Replace worn show shovels. Make sure you have plenty of ice melt on hand.

6. Prepare the landscaping. Be sure to disconnect your hoses and drain them well. Insulate exposed plumbing pipes. Move sensitive potted plants indoors. Ask a gardener which perennials to prune and which shrubs require being cut back.

7. Check and maintain fire safety items. Change the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Add additional smoke detectors, making sure there's one in each bedroom. Replace or recharge your fire extinguishers.

If you need references for service providers to help with any of these issues, please give me a call at 317-413-8501. I'm happy to pass along the names and numbers of folks I use on my house.