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Fall Is Here, Are You Ready?

It might seem a bit early to think about preparing your home for the winter, but time flies as quickly as those vibrant colored leaves falling from the trees in fall.

Here are seven things Homeowners should do before the first frost hits:

1. CHECK WINDOWS AND DOORS for air leaks and caulk and install weather-stripping where needed.

2. PREPARE THE CHIMNEY for the chestnuts roasting on the open fire this winter.

Contact your local chimney professional for a good cleaning.

3. FURNACE- Have your furnace cleaned and checked by a professional. Stock up on furnace filters to last you through the winter, and while you’re at it, stock up on water softener salt so you’re not lugging heavy bags in the snow and ice.

4. SMOKE AND CO2 DETECTORS-test these alarms and detectors, as well as replace those that are 10 or more years old. Here is a link to the IL Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet.

5. REVERSE THE DIRECTION OF YOUR CEILING FANS-Reversing the direction of your ceiling fans helps circulate warm air near the ceiling back into your living space. (Heat rises, remember!) This can cut your heating costs and make your rooms feel warmer.

6. DISCONNECT AND EMPTY YOUR GARDEN HOSE- disconnect your outdoor hose and let it drain on an angle. Once the hose is empty, coil it up and pack it away for the season. A frozen hose can cause the water inside the wall to freeze and burst.

7. CLEAN THE GUTTERS- Remove debris found in your gutters, then use a hose to wash away any remaining debris and to make sure the downspouts are working properly. Failing to clear gunk from your gutters can mean rain and melting snow won’t be able to drain easily and may potentially cause seepage and leaks into your home.You may want to hire someone to do this task for you if you are a fall risk or unsteady on a ladder.

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