September Home Improvement Plan

Home maintenance is a year-round job. But getting ready for cold weather needs to happen at exactly the right time: after you’ve turned off the air conditioner but before you’re living with freezing temperatures.

Here are some items for your to-do list:

• Inspect your furnace. Replace dirty filters, and clean registers and grilles.

• Use caulk, spray foam, and weather stripping to plug leaks around windows and doors.

• Plug up holes where pipes, vents, or electrical conduits run through walls, ceilings, and floors.

• Add fiberglass insulation to the attic floor and house walls.

• Wrap your water heater with an insulation blanket (check with your owner’s manual or the store first) and cover any exposed pipes with ready-made pipe jackets.

• Clean gutters and downspouts to avoid ice dams that can push water under the shingles.

• Make sure chimney and venting systems are working properly.