Blog by Carol Lome, Broker

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Fall Tips for Your Home - Lytton Park, Rosedale, Yonge & St. Clair, Summerhill

Now that we've all enjoyed our summer holiday, it's that time of the year to start thinking about fall maintenance.

One of the great joys of living in Canada is the change of seasons. Autumn's colors and crispness will soon be making way for winter's exciting first snowfall.

The most important pre-winter activity can be done by anybody no matter what their skill level, for usually low cost, in about 2 minutes: pick-up the phone, and schedule a heating system maintenance call. Even a new unit needs this check.

To prepare your home for the up coming season, we are enclosing the following tips that we hope will be helpful.

  1. Schedule a yearly service check as a properly maintained furnace uses less energy.  Also, remember to clean the filter on a monthly basis during the heating season.
  2. If your furnace needs replacing, consider a direct vent, high-efficiency unit.
    A direct vent furnace has its own outdoor supply of air, reducing the drafts in your home.
  3. Caulk cracks on interior baseboards, windows, and door trim.
    Don't forget to check the attic, basement, and ceilings for drafts.
  4. Use high quality weather stripping on windows and doors for peak performance under all weather conditions.
  5. Place foam gaskets behind electrical outlets/switch plates to stop drafts.
    Put a continuous bead of caulking on one side of the gasket and seal it to the wall before reattaching the cover.
  6. Set your thermostat back a few degrees when you're not home and before bed each evening. Better still, buy an automatic, programmable thermostat, and mount it away from hot or cold sources.
  7. Move carpets, furniture, and drapes away from floor registers, return air grills, and hot water radiators to ensure heat circulates freely throughout the room.
  8. Seal furnace duct seams with aluminum foil duct tape and insulate exposed ducts.
  9. Check insulation levels in your attic, basement, and above-grade walls. Improve the quantity if required. Most basements have little, if any insulation on the walls and floor, so there is a good return on your investment if you insulate these areas.
  10. Install new windows with low-E film, argon gas, and warm edge technology, which help to reduce heat loss and condensation. If upgrading isn't an option, cover windows with inexpensive, but effective, shrink-wrap plastic.
  11. Now is the perfect time to turn off the water to all your exterior water taps.

The previous suggestions are the most important winter tune-up steps. Other good ideas include cleaning the heating grates, especially on the big cold air returns, cleaning and lubricating exhaust fans, and cleaning out the dryer vent and cover. If you have electric baseboard heaters, vacuum the dust off the interior fins, and make sure drapes and curtains are several inches above their hot surfaces.