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October, 2007

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Home maintenance tips for fall
Protect your home — and your investment!
Your house is more than the place where you live. It’s your most important investment. Carrying out a regular program of maintenance and repairs can help you protect that investment and keep your family safe.
The following are some simple tasks you can perform in just a few minutes a week to avoid the most common and costly problems before they occur:
• Check and clean or replace your furnace filters on a monthly basis during the heating season.
• Have your furnace or heating system serviced by a qualified service company (every two years for a gas furnace and every year for an oil furnace).
• Bleed air from hot water radiators, and turn the gas furnace pilot light on.
• Vacuum electric baseboard heaters to remove dust, removing the grilles on forced air systems, and vacuum inside the ducts.
• If the heat recovery ventilator has been shut off for the summer, clean filters and the core, and pour water down the condensate drain to test it.
• Have well water tested for quality.
• Check the sump pump and line to ensure proper operation, and to check that there are no line obstructions or visible leaks.
• If you have a septic tank, measure the sludge and scum to determine if it needs to be emptied before spring. Tanks should be pumped out at least once every three years.
• Replace window screens with storm windows, and ensure that all windows, doors and skylights are tightly shut, including the door between your house and garage.
• Ensure that the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall, to prevent water from draining into the basement.
• Clean leaves from eaves troughs and downspouts to ensure proper drainage from the roof, and check chimneys for nests or other obstructions.
• Cover the outside of air conditioners, and drain and store outdoor hoses. Close the valve to your outdoor hose connection, and drain the faucet (unless it is frost proof).
• Winterize landscaping by storing outdoor furniture, preparing gardens, and, if necessary, by protecting young trees or bushes against the cold.
Information provided by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Info: 1-800 668-2642. The CMHC also offers a series of online guides to maintaining and renovating your home at www.cmhc.ca.

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