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October Home Checklist

As made obvious by the browning leaves and slight bite in the wind, fall is officially upon us - in fact, October is its first full month. And with onset of the cold months and dwindling daylight, most of your winter-proofing should be done by the end of the month to avoid cramming for the frosty months ahead. Here are a couple of things you need do to you don't let the this last month of outdoor organizing pass you by.

Repairing Roof Shingles On those slightly warm days, try as much as you can to climb up your roof to seal and reattach loose shingles. Doing this prevents them from clogging up from all the leaves that gathers throughout the foliage season.

Reinforce Your Windows Replace those insect screens with storm windows. Remember to dry and clean your insect screens before storing them to prevent them from deteriorating badly until its next use and installation during spring or summer. If you have single-pane windows and no storm coverings, apply heat-shrink plastic to the outer part of your window to create insulation. This trick will help you minimize your heating cost.

Fireplace Frenzy If you're one of the lucky ones who have a fireplace, make sure that it's kept well-maintained and cleaned for your first fire of the season. More often than not, the first sign that you have to clean your chimney is back-smoking, so preventive maintenance is always a good way to sidestep this symptom.

Deadly Gas Detectors Saying you'll have your heat on this winter is like saying you eat peanut butter with jam - in other words, it's a sure thing. And seeing that your windows will be sealed and shut, it's always in your best interest to regulate what the air quality is like in your home. As a state law, Massachusetts homes should be equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that residents are safe from inhaling unwanted gases 24/7. Do your part and make sure the batteries on your detectors are working; don't just discard and chuck them away.

Bleed Your Radiators Most New England homes have radiators for heating. Make sure to bleed them before the winter months get in so you don't have to do it last minute. Bleeding radiators every once in a while help ensures that you get ample heat from the units, as air pockets prevent this from happening. To bleed air out, turn on the furnace and circulator and open the supply valve to the radiator. Find the bleeder valve (it's usually opposite the supply valve) and open it while holding a pan to it. Air should be released, followed by hot water (thus the pan). Close the valve as the water comes out.

Store Outdoor Furniture Storing your outdoor furniture prolongs its life, even if it is designed for harsh weather conditions, especially in our region where temperatures fall well below zero. If  you have a patio that has an awning or a roof, covering your furniture with a plastic-like or waterproof material should be sufficient to weather the winter.

Read more tips on how to winterize your home here, courtesy of MSN.

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