Sure signs that fall is coming are shorter days and the start of school. Fall also means it’s time to begin preparing our homes for oncoming cooler weather.

1. Check for leaks and drafts

Cold air can sneak in from your windows and doors. Weather stripping and caulking are easy measures to apply. For more complicated problems, it’s best to call a professional.

2. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Fall is when we start heating our homes and lighting fireplaces, so testing now can save some grief when it’s colder. Be sure to have a technician service your fireplace.

3. Store or cover seasonal furniture

Remember to clean it first and put in a dry place.

4. Prepare for power outages

Winter storms can affect the power grid, so be sure to replace your flashlight batteries and have candles and matches on hand. If you’re snuggling around a fireplace to keep warm, make sure to keep the immediate area free of anything that can burn. Warning: don’t cook over a gas fireplace, they’re not safety tested or designed for cooking.

5. Winterize your air conditioning

Window units should be removed or covered (check the bylaws if you live in a strata) to prevent air leaks.

6. Inspect the roof and clean the gutters

Check for damaged shingles, cracks, and other obvious signs of damage. Debris-free gutters will prevent water pooling and potential damage. Make sure downspouts direct water away from the foundation, sidewalks, and driveways.

7. Trim back trees and shrubs around your home

Summer growth could damage power lines and roofs during winter storms if left unchecked.

8. Arrange an energy audit

Lowering your home's energy bill could be a simple as getting an energy audit. A certified energy advisor will look at your home's air leakage, insulation, and furnace and ductwork. The report will identify upgrades you can make. 

9. Get your fall and winter tool box together

Fall will come quicker than you think, so be sure to get your fall and winter tools together in one place for easy access. This would include a rake, leaf blower, broom, snow shovel/blower, and salt or grit.