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Preparing your home for the fall season is a necessary task thatcan be both financially and personally rewarding. It is fairlycommon for homeowners to go right into the winter season withoutinspecting their home and preparing for it, which can sometimeslead to unexpected expenses and a race against the weather. Be sureto complete the following tasks this autumn, before the weatherturns inclement, to keep you and your family comfortable all winterlong.

1. Furnace

One of the most important components of a house in thewintertime is the furnace or heating system. Furnace filters shouldbe checked and replaced when necessary, and a visual inspection ofthe filter should reveal if it needs to be changed or not. Thefurnace itself also needs to be inspected: the burner unit, pilotlight, electronics and flue as improper installation or operationof furnace components can pose serious health risks like carbonmonoxide poisoning and fire. For these reasons and more, furnaceinspections and testing should be performed by a licensedprofessional in the fall season before peak demand begins.

2. Weather proofing

Heating costs and the demand on the heating system can bereduced by ensuring your house is sealed properly against wind andcold. Caulking around windows, window frames and door frames candrastically reduce the amount of heat loss your home experiences.Even simple tasks like keeping clean windows can help reduce costsby letting in more sunlight to assist with heating during the day.Weather stripping around all the doors also helps cut help heatingbills tremendously, and some homeowners even seal up certain doorscompletely with tape or plastic for the entire season.

3. Foundations

Basements and foundations can prove to be a challenge in thefall season due to the expansion and contraction of the ground andthe concrete foundation. These conditions can open cracks and allowleaks to form that damage property and pose health risks. Havingthe foundation inspected regularly can save thousands of dollars inemergency repairs and ensure you don’t have any surprises over thewinter.

4. Outdoor cleaning

Clearing debris and fallen leaves from the area surrounding yourhome leaves less to accumulate in gutters, air intakes and drains.Clearing old and rotting branches from trees or any overhangingbranches is also important; the strong winter winds and addedweight of snow and ice can bring weaker branches down with littleor no warning. Water lines, water hoses and sprinkler systems arealso susceptible to the winter cold and need to be prepared in theautumn. All hoses should be disconnected and stored, sprinklersystems should be cleared of water and water lines should beinspected and insulated as needed.

5. Security

Many families are away from home more in the winter, so takesome time during the fall to consider a local homealarm. Having an alarm system installed can give you peace ofmind, and better protect your home against intruders, particularlywhen there are holiday gifts inside. Most security systems comewith wireless alarmsystems and also help notify authorities in the event of fireor flood.

A house is typically the largest investment any individual makesin their lifetime, so take care to protect your investment andreduce your living expenses. Following these simple tips canprevent damage to your home, save you money on your home expensesand give you peace of mind and comfort this winter.

Courtesy of ARAcontent