For many homeowners, it is that time of year to prepare your number one asset for the upcoming winter, “your home.”

The tips that will be suggested could extend the life of your furnace, boiler or home and prevent costly repairs. Taking just a little bit of your time will payoff dividends in the long run.

Heating System (Preventive Maintenance)
  • Have your furnace or boiler checked and serviced or tuned up by a licensed contractor before the heating season begins.
  • Clean or replace the furnace filter on forced hot air systems.
  • Have your chimney checked and serviced by a licensed contractor at least once a year.
  • Pay close attention to having creosote build-up removed from chimneys servicing woodstoves and fireplaces.
  • Add extra insulation. Adding insulation is not only for comfort, but can also help prevent ice dams. This happens when too much heat escapes into the attic, warms the ice and snow on your roof. When this melting occurs and refreezes it can cause an ice damn which can lead to water damage inside your home. Ice dams generally form at the gutter line and will work back up under the shingles of your roof.
  • Apply new weather stripping to your exterior doors if needed and caulk windows to prevent against heat loss and drafts.
  • Install storm windows on storm doors and windows if needed.
Safety Measures
  • Change the batteries on smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.Test the units to make sure they are in working condition. Replace the units if they are not functioning properly
  • Clear gutters and downspouts of obstructions to ensure the proper flow of water to prevent water damage.
  • Repair steps as needed to keep safe during ice and snow.
  • Protect pipes in crawl spaces or unfinished areas by either insulating or shutting off the water to the pipes not in use such as hose bibs. You can also search thermostatically controlled heat tape for certain pipe applications. Please read manufacturers specifications if using this product to ensure this will work for your particular situation.