Your homes fall tips:
Now that all the creepy ghouls and goblins are finished haunting our streets and the cooler autumn air settles in, it’s time to start thinking about preparing your home for the cold winter months that lie ahead. Here are a few little things that can make a big difference for your home and may help save you time and money.
This time of year, its always a good idea to check your smoke detectors. This is the single most important thing you could do. Its a good idea to get one that has a Carbon monoxide detection feature as well. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odourless, and poisonous gas produced by common household appliances such as your furnace, fireplace, gas stove, and propane heater.
Having your furnace inspected annually will ensure its efficiency and may prevent costly and avoidable issues. By changing your filters regularly, you could ensure your furnace is working optimally and ensure that you and your loved ones are breathing clean air. Even during these frigid times, its important to open your windows. This will help change and circulate the air which may be harbouring cold viruses and unwanted odors.
Heres a checklist to ensure your home maintenance is looked after:
- Check your smoke alarm.
- Change your filters.
- Inspect and caulk the exterior of your home to prevent critters from entering and to prevent heat from escaping.
- Weather strip your windows to lower the cost of your utility bills.
- Fix any exterior grading issues which may attract water towards your foundation. If you have a sump-pump, nows a good time to inspect it.
- Shut off all water connections leading to your exterior walls.
- Get your roof inspected and replace any missing shingles.
- Clean your gutters and downspouts. This will help prevent ice damming.
- Drain the fuel from your lawn mower to prevent corroding.
- If possible, make a lump-sum payment towards your mortgage (hint hint)!
On a safety note, gas fireplaces are a convenient way to warm up a room, but they can be quite hazardous if there are small children in the house. The glass barrier on a fireplace can heat up to more that 200 degrees Celsius in about 6 minutes and can cause severe burns. It takes upwards of 45 minutes for the glass to cool down to a safe temperature after the fire has been extinguished. Installing a barrier can help keep kids safe and away from harm.
For more tips on keeping kids safe visit www.safekidscanada.ca
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, check for obstructions such as bird nests. Consider having your fireplace and stove flutes and chimneys professionally inspected and swept.
Fall is also great time to review your finances and to prepare you for next year. If you have some debt and have considered applying for a loan or refinance to increase your cash-flow, remember that DoYourOwnMortgage.com offers a *cash rebate and great rates on all our mortgages.
Lionel Khoury AMP
*some conditions apply