Routine Maintenance Tips:
- Change the filter in your furnace.
- Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- This is also a good time to check fire extinguishers. Some need to be recharged periodically, as well as after each use. Others are not intended to be recharged and should be replaced periodically even if they have never been used.
- Have the chimney professionally inspected and cleaned.
- Keep the damper in the chimney closed when you don’t have a fire in the fireplace.
- Clean the clothes dryer vent annually. This enables the dryer to operate more efficiently and reduces the risk of fire. (Many chimney sweeps offer this service.)
- Keep gutters clean, especially as leaves and pine needles are falling.
- If you use a dehumidifier, this is a good time to clean it.
- Drain the water heater to remove sediment buildup.
- Drain outside pipes and sprinkler systems before temperatures drop to freezing.
Tips to Improve Energy Efficiency this Winter:
- Install storm windows.
- Check weather stripping and window seals.
- Insulate attic doors.
- Insulate water heaters.
- Install a programmable thermostat.
Articles with more ideas on conserving energy:
- How to Conserve Energy at Home by How Stuff Works
- Getting Energy Ready for Winter by California Energy Commission’s Consumer Energy Center
- Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy and Money at Home by U.S. Department of Energy
In addition to routine fall maintenance, check what you’re paying on home services. Allconnect.com is a free online resource to review and compare the costs and choices for essential home services including high speed Internet, phone, cable TV, satellite TV, and home security systems.