1. Seal up Leaks. Take a quick walk around your home to check for cracks and gaps around windows and doors. This could let the heat out and cold air in. Now is a good time to find these leaks and seal them up. In cooler climates consider a humidifier to make your home more pleasant in the fall and winter.
2. Replace your air filters. A clogged or dirty filter can make your furnance work harder, which uses more energy. It can also damage your furnance. Replace your filters once a month or as recommended by your system’s manufacturer. And get your furnance serviced.
3. Check for drafts. Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. A good tip is to use a lighted candle and if the flame flickers, there’s most likely a draft. If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and door frames. Consider buying heavier or insulated drapery for especially drafty windows.
4. Winterize air conditioning. If your home has central air conditioning, (and you live in a climate where you won’t need it any longer,) 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.
5. 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.
6. Test home safety devices. Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices and test to make sure they’re working properly.
7. Clean the gutters. Hire a service to clear your gutters or do it yourself. Remove leaves, nests, and debris from gutters and check for leaks.
8. Check water drainage. This one is very important, as a small mistake could very well lead into an expensive fix. Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways. Add extensions to downspouts if necessary.
9. Turn off faucets and store hoses. Drain garden hoses and disconnect from the outside spigots. Shut off exterior faucets, and if you have an older home, you may need to turn off the valve inside your home. Store hoses in a dry place so any residual water won’t freeze.
10. Do a roof check. You should be able to do at least a visual inspection of the roof from the ground. Grab some binoculars to get a closer look or if you’re able and can do so safely, climb on up for a better view. Look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles. If your roof is flat, you may need to remove leaves and debris.