October is here and fall is definitely in the air in the Great Lakes Region. Our relatives have even had some snow in North Bay, Ontario. Now is a great time before the colder weather makes a permanent stay in the months to come to look at tackling (what can I say, it is football season after all) those money saving home jobs.

Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up. Book and schedule your annual water heater, furnace or heating system inspection to make sure it is not only safe but efficient. Make sure all items especially flammable ones are cleared away so the air can flow freely around the units. Many furnaces have humidifiers attached to them. Even if they aren’t, check to make sure they are clean and operating properly. Keeping a few extra filters around will save you from having to go out in a storm later this winter. While concentrating on your heating systems, consider whether or not you can clean your own ducts and when you last had a professional work on them. This also help insure that our fury little friends have made their homes elsewhere. Unfortunately, even the cleanest homes have been invaded.

Look at your basement walls and see if there are any cracks or water damage markings. If there is a problem, determine the source and have it fixed. If your basement tends to be humid or prone to moisture, setup a dehumidifier. If you need to remember to empty it regularly and are not in the basement that often to monitor the unit, try writing yourself a reminder in your daily planner or calendar. This will help keep mold and mildew from growing and devaluing your property.

Consider turning off the water to your outdoor taps. Remember to bleed the lines first. This will keep pipes from having water freeze in them and bursting when the cold weather comes. If you are a Snow Bird – remember to bleed all your waterlines before your go away, shut the water off and leave the taps open just incase. It can be quite unpleasant to come home from a relaxing time away to find water pipes which have burst while you were away and a large cleanup project waiting for you.

In our region it is mandatory to have a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector on each floor. This is a requirement even on the basement level, whether or not the basement is finished. Our fire department for years has encouraged us to change the batteries in these devices when the clocks change back and forth between regular and daylight saving time twice a year. This is actually a good time to flip your mattress as well.

Everyone hears about spring cleaning but fall cleaning is just as important. Clean your house thoroughly moving items such as your fridge and stove, washer and dryer. The fall is a great time to wash the inside and outside of your windows. Check to see that the caulking around your windows, doors, vents and plugs is in good working order. Repair any cracks and seals as required.

If you have a fireplace, schedule a chimney cleaning for improved airflow, smell and reduced fire risk. Insure the chimney has a cage on the top to prevent birds and any other wildlife from entering your home through the chimney. In the city we have had birds perch on the chimney ledge, become drowsy from the heat and fall down into the fireplace. With the damper closed we were able to create a tunnel to the sliding doors but it was difficult for both the birds and us. When preparing the fireplace for winter, check to see that the damper is mobile. Keeping the damper closed will also help save money on your heating costs when the fireplace is not being used.

Speaking of our feather and fury friends, check your roof thoroughly to make sure they haven’t made their home in yours. While up there, check for any wind and water damage as well as damaged shingles, soffits and gutters. Especially in older neighborhoods with larger, older trees, inspect the tree branches to make sure they are not touching the house or are not in such a position as to cause any damage during the stormy season. Now is a great time to identify dead branches before all the leaves fall prior to winter.

While up checking the roof, clean the gutters. You may want to schedule 2 cleaning periods. Once now and once after all the leaves have fallen off the trees. This of course depends on the trees in your neighborhood, their age, size and placement relative to your house and gutters. Clogged gutters prevent water from freely flowing off your roof and into the sewer system. The poor drainage can cause water to flow over the gutters, down the outside walls of your house and create water damage to your basement walls and foundations. If drainage and a wet basement are an issue, consult a professional about your weeping tiles.

Preparing your home for the coming winter may seem like an inconvenience but the money you could be saving from doing preventive maintenance could be substantial. It also makes us good stewards of what has been entrusted to us.

Author's Bio: 

Best-selling author, coach and speaker Margaret L. Good has transformed lives by showing people that success, wealth and living abundantly is not difficult when you learn simple life altering principles.

For the past 27 years, Margaret has supported hundreds of people from many walks of life as a CGA. Margaret is a unique and stand alone speaker and coach. Her candor and ability to point out what your true gifts, talents and inspiration are can quickly help you live the life you have always dreamed of.

Helping you reach your fullest potential is Margaret’s mission in life. A stellar business woman, wife and mother, Margaret shows her clients and audiences how to truly have it all and live the way you want to, aligned with God and never in scarcity.

Margaret’s co-authored best-selling book Living in Abundance has become well known. She has also co-authored a book specifically for the inspiration of women across the globe Wake Up Women Be Happy, Healthy and Wealthy which reached #7 on the Barnes & Noble best-sellers list in January 2009.

For more information go to www.margaretlgoodcga.com

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