Yes winter is on its way – we have had nice weather for the past few weeks and unseasonal warm days.  But don’t worry – it will catch up to us!  Hopefully you have taken advantage of some of those days to get ready for winter, if not you still have time.  We will have some rainy cool days, but you can do some during that time and others in the nicer days between.

Don’t forget to clean your gutters – maybe even professionally cleaned.  Ensure they are working and doing their job properly.  What does a professional cleaning cost – it will depend a lot on size of home, access, etc.  I actually cleaned gutters on a cottage on the Severn River the other day while I was up inspecting and cleaning chimney.. as a favour to owner.

Get your chimney cleaned – hire a professional Certified Chimney Sweep!  The reports indicate a leading factor in home fires is failure to clean the chimney!  It is also wise to have it inspected by a Certified Chimney Sweep – or a WETT Certified Comprehensive Inspector.   A clean chimney will be a more efficient chimney and also help to prevent creosote fires and will reduce potential of carbon monoxide filling your home.

Seal the air leaks – true you won’t necessarily get them all yourself without special equipment to detect them – but you can get a lot!  This can in fact be an ongoing task through the winter – on windy days you can more easily find some leaks you missed.  This is one of the lowest cost and highest return on energy cost savings you may have at your disposal!

Have your furnace checked over – be it gas, oil or wood – there are professionals to help!  I do wood and pellet furnace cleaning and inspections weekly this time of year.  A well maintained furnace is an efficient furnace.

Check your trees over – this is something you can do yourself and may be in fact recommended.  In north Simcoe there are a lot of tree companies who will condemn any tree simply to try and make more money!  A study actually indicated that 60% of trees cut did not need to be removed!  If you hire a company look for an ISA Certified Arborist and a ISA Qualified Risk Assessor – a Certified Arborist is NOT trained to determine if a tree is a risk – and while they will provide their opinion it is nothing more than an opinion.  Look for dead and dying limbs – wind can bring them down – look for leaning trees and ensure they are well supported.  Ensure trees are away from home and any electrical wires serving your home.

Check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms – when time change comes change the batteries and be safe.