Nine Things to Do to Get Ready for Winter
From: Madison Gas and Electric

Here's a checklist of things to do to get your home ready for the change of season.
Check the batteries in your programmable thermostat. Don't
come home to a cold house! Check the batteries before the
winter weather gets here.

Check smoke detectors. Test smoke detectors to make sure they
are working and change the battery if needed.

Install a carbon monoxide (CO) detector. CO is a silent killer! If
you have a furnace, fireplace, water heater or other appliance that
is fueled by fossil fuel, the chances of CO poisoning from
malfunctioning appliances increases substantially as houses
are closed up for the winter. Exhaust fumes from an attached
garage can also leak into living areas. CO detectors are
inexpensive—just plug in, and they could save your life.

Change your furnace filter. Before the heating season starts,
change your furnace filter. If you haven't had your furnace serviced
for more than two years, now's a good time to do that also.

Clean and inspect the fireplace. Wood-burning fireplaces can get
a buildup of creosote in the chimney. Have the chimney checked
and cleaned if necessary. Close the damper when not in use.

Check weather-stripping. Check the weather-stripping around
doors and windows and replace as needed. Leaks around
windows and doors not only create drafts but also waste heat.

Check and clean gutters. Blocked gutters and downspouts can
cause water backup. Clean your gutters of leaves and other tree
debris. Check all connections.

Check and clean dryer venting system. Replace white plastic vent
hose with metallic vent pipe.

Turn off outdoor faucets. Disconnect and drain hoses. Install
freeze-proof faucet covers as needed.