With the change in season, it’s time to tackle your home maintenance checklist. From safety precautions to appliance upkeep, here are tips to help you breeze into fall.  
 
Clean your furnace filter. Dirty filters mean your furnace must work harder. Regularly changing the filters in your central air and heating system can significantly improve their efficiency and longevity. Change filters monthly throughout the heating and cooling seasons, and have your furnace serviced annually by a professional to ensure it’s working properly. 
 
Install home safety. The Canadian National Fire Information Database reports that 80 percent of fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms, often due to missing batteries or expired alarms. Proper smoke alarm placement, regular maintenance and alarm replacement are essential to keeping everybody protected, so be sure to install alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, and in every bedroom. Replace batteries at least every six months, or make maintenance easier with a 2-in-1 smoke and carbon monoxide alarm such as the First Alert 10-Year Battery Combination alarm, which also eliminates battery chirps and replacements for a decade.  
 
Check your roof and clean your gutters. Rapidly changing temperatures and humidity can wreak havoc on roofs. Water damage can cause deterioration to insulation, wood and drywall, making electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems vulnerable to damage. Inspect for missing and loose shingles, replacing them as needed, or have a licensed, certified roofing professional check the condition of your roof. Clear your gutters of leaves and debris, flush them with water and make repairs if necessary. You may also consider replacing old or damaged gutters with new ones that have built-in leaf guards. 
 
Test for radon. Radon is an invisible, odourless gas that can seep from the soil through cracks in the foundation. After smoking, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer, according to Statistics Canada. A simple DIY test kit can be purchased from most hardware stores to determine if you have a safe radon level in your home.  
 
Learn more home maintenance tips at firstalert.ca

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