Summer has officially been over for two weeks. In some areas, fall is in full force. In others, winter is getting ready to make itself known. Now is a great time to perform five home maintenance tasks, and save yourself potential trouble this winter.

Check Weatherstripping on Windows and Door Frames
Check the weatherstripping around windows and door frames for drafts now. Then head to the home repair store to pick up new materials. Damaged weatherstripping can allow leaks during a heavy rain storm. They also let the warm air out and cold air in, which will increase your home heating costs. If the draft is really bad and weatherstripping doesn’t fix it, you may need to replace the window.

Look for Roof Leaks
During the next rain, go up in your attic and look for leaks. Also check ceilings and around windows for leaks. If you find anything, caulk the windows or call a roofer for repair. Do it now, before the winter really sets in!

Clear Brush Around the House
Clear brush that could become a haven for insects and rodents. If you live in a fire zone, clear any brush or shrubbery that overgrew during the summer.

Test the Furnace
You don’t want to find out your furnace is broken on the first cold night. So, crank up the heat now to test the furnace. You may notice a bad smell at first. If it doesn’t clear up soon, call an HVAC specialist to check the system.

Check the Fireplace for Cracks and Brush
Fall leaves have a way of gathering around the chimney. Clear out the chimney cap to prevent sparks from starting a fire on the roof. You should call a chimney service to inspect your chimney and any gas lines leading to it for cracks or leaks. A damaged chimney or gas line could start a fire in your house.

None of these take a lot of time and the service calls shouldn’t cost a lot of money, but they could save your home from a fire or save you money on repairs and energy.

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