Now that we are officially in fall

We had typical temperatures on the first day of fall here in Arkansas.  An 80 degree start to arguably the most comfortable season to dress (not much sucking in required) doesn't exactly elicit stampedes to the local hardware store.  Fall is deceiving because of how slow it is to really settle in.  In years past, I've taken to long to get my home ready for winter and of course, something considered "vital" to the survival of one of my family members, inevitably fails. I am now faced with an emergency and every technician is booked up for the foreseeable future. Learning from my mistakes, I have developed a short checklist and I want to share it with you.  This isn't the end all be all of checklists, but it is a solid start.

- Hire an HVAC professional to inspect your heating system.  If you have a chimney, get a certified  chimney sweep to inspect the chimney, dampers, fireplace and clean the flue. 

- Check the caulking around doors and windows.  Caulk is a regular maintenance item and should be routinely inspected and replaced to ensure integrity.  

- Clean your gutters and downspouts.  Summer storms are notorious for cramming debris into gutters and downspouts.  Rain is on the way, and you want it moved away from your foundation.

- Drain sprinklers and irrigation systems. 

- Clean and winterize all lawn equipment

- Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors