In Minnesota and the midwest it's that time of the year again, the time when everyone is outside for a different reason, time to start prepping our homes for winter weather and freezing temperatures. So to help out a little I figured a winter prep checklist wouldn't hurt. Obviously, as you will see this checklist doesn't constitute everything one might do but hopefully this might steer some in the right direction.
Test Run: Turn the thermostat to heat mode and try it out. If it isn't operating properly have a HVAC technician service it.
Replace your filter if its old
Fuel: If you have a propane or oil furnace, make sure to have your fuel storage tank topped off and ready to go.
Heating Vents: Clear obstacles to heating vents so air can freely flow.
Check for Carbon Monoxide Leaks: This silent killer can easily be detected with either an inexpensive test badge, battery operated alarm, or have a professional perform a combustion analyzation test. Either way make sure your family is protected.
Air Conditioning System
Clean Your Air-Conditioning Condensing Unit of Debris: Make sure the unit is cleared and free of debris and if need be place a cover over the unit temporarily while the leaves are still falling.
If you use window air conditioners, remove them and store for winter.
Chimney and Fireplace
Check that your chimney hasn't developed any cracks over its recent use (summer/spring)
Check flue damper operation
Check chimney draft
Make sure your chimney is free and clear of debris, nests or any material that could be blocking it.
Have your chimney professional cleaned. If your chimney hasn't been cleaned for some time have it professionally cleaned.
Disconnect garden hoses and shut-off water supply to exterior hose bibs or faucets and release all water from the lines but opening the exterior hose bib valves temporarily.