Fall Checklist - House and Yard

Yes, it’s that time of the year again, leaves are turning color, it’s getting darker earlier and the sun comes up later.  It’s a love hate relationship we have with the weather here in Edmonton.  Summer is awesome; you can stay out hiking, camping, gardening until late, and the sun is always up before you go to work.  And then there is Winter; blowing snow, icy roads and double digits below 0.  But, in between, there are things to finish, fix, check, and start doing in our world.  To make this just a little easier we have created a list of things to take care of in the fall – before winter moves in hardcore.


  • Put away your lawn and garden equipment
  • Cover or put away outdoor furniture
  • Disconnect water hoses and store
  • Clean / remove debris from around the house and garage
  • Clean your outside gutters and drains
  • Clean window wells and check drainage
  • Drain and turn off hose bibs
  • Clean your chimney flue if you have a fireplace or woodstove
  • Stock up your wood pile?
  • Tune up your snow removal equipment
  • Find your snow shovels and ice chippers
  • Pick up de-icer for steps and sidewalks
  • Cover and/or remove your air conditioning unit
  • Inspect deck, walkways and steps for popped screws which can interfere with snow removal
  • Check the outdoor air to return to head recovery ventilation.


  • Check your fire alarms and CO2 alarms, replace batteries or the entire unit if necessary
  • Clean your range hood and bathroom vents
  • Change or modify window coverings to increase the insulating value
  • Clean your furnace, furnace filters and ducting
  • Check your humidifier on your furnace
  • Turn on your furnace to verify it will ignite
  • Turn off your air conditioning
  • Check your water softener
  • Drain your hot water tank and remove sediment. Check your anode rod regularly, as it’s an important part of the water heater
  • Inspect your hot water tank and/or filtration or water treatment systems for any indication of leaking

       OR…For On-Deman Systems…

  • Clean or replace water line filter
  • Clean the air filter…
  • Descale and flush the system
  • Check weather stripping, caulking and/or seals on doors & windows, and the garage too
  • Inspect areas around windows and doors for signs of water damage.
  • Inspect and oil garage door tracks
  • Check weather stripping, caulking and/or seals on doors & windows, and the garage too
  • Inspect areas around windows and doors for signs of water damage.
  • Inspect and oil garage door tracks
  • Vacuum your refrigerator coils
  • Clean your ceiling fans then reverse the direction of rotation so that they run clockwise – usually a simple switch or slider on the side of the unit (check with the manufacturer)
  • Inspect your fire extinguisher, give it a good shake
  • Clean your dryer vent
  • Check attic vents, and look for leaks or water damage
  • Check attic for any damage from rodents, bats or bugs.
  • Clean and if necessary repair damaged screens in doors and windows

Clean your ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilators) or HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilators) system and filters every 3 months or at the change of season.

  • Wash or Replace filters as per the manufacturer’s directions – some filters are reusable and only need a wash of mild soap solution and water
  • Vacuum or damp wipe to remove accumulated dirt from the inside surfaces of the unit
  • Visually inspect seals and gaskets to ensure they minimizing any leakage
  • Clean the vents, grills and ductwork
  • Clean and lubricate fans if needed (check with the manufacturer)
  • Gently vacuum dust from the heat exchange core
  • Check to see if your system has a condensate drain — a pipe or plastic tube coming out of the bottom. If so, slowly pour about two litres of warm, clean water in each drain pan inside the unit to make sure it is flowing freely
  • Run through an ON/OFF cycle to verify it is working

We get it …. being a home owner is exhausting!

That checklist can seem pretty intimidating I know, but hey, you don’t have to complete it all in one day.  Just keep in mind that your home is the place where all the most important people in your world live.  You want them to be comfortable and safe.  Considering what it cost to purchase your own a home, it is critical that you take care of it.  Believe me, proper maintenance can prevent indoor catastrophes and the cost and inconvenience of repairs, it’s worth the time.

Oh and find your windshield scraper/brush thingee!

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