Chicago had a near-record warm month of October. That means that your list of items to take care of outside is here with not a lot of time left before it gets really cold. Below are some basics to knock off your list in the next few weeks.

1. Prune Trees and Shrubs
Not only will this reduce your workload in the spring but will keep trees away from your house or garage when those strong winter storms hit.

2. Check Furnace
Change your filter if it’s been more than 3 months. It’s a good idea to have a HVAC professional service your unit once a year too. Better to find problems before you really need the heat.

3. Remove and Drain Garden Hoses
Once the weather threatens below freezing temps, remove and drain your hoses so it doesn’t burst the spigot. By draining your hoses before storing them it will keep your hose in working order for next season.

4. Seal Air Leaks
Now’s a great time to buy a can of Great Stuff or caulk to fill in any gaps around doors or windows that allow air to come in.

5. Drain Sprinkler System
If you’re lucky enough to have a yard with an in-ground sprinkler system it’s important to blow the lines and shut the system down so they don’t burst when it freezes.

6. Mow a Final Time
Cut the grass a bit lower than usual and clean the bottom of the mower one last time.

7. Clean Gutters
Sometimes this is best kept for late fall after the leaves have stopped falling. It’s important for melting snow and late rainfalls to be able to properly move away from your foundation.

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