October is a great time to start thinking about preparing your home for the cooler weather to come. If you have a furnace, have it inspected by a professional before you need to use it. Stock up on filters and be sure to change them monthly. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, consider buying one – they’re not very expensive and they will save you money. If you have a fireplace, and it hasn’t been cleaned in a while, have it checked and get any build up or soot and creosote removed and be sure the cap is intact. Inspect the damper to be sure it opens and closes properly. Also check the mortar between the bricks for cracks. When you buy or chop firewood, be sure to store it in a dry place far from the exterior of your home. Be sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change the batteries if you can’t recall the last time you did so. Buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.