Ice. Snow. Wind. They're a-comin' in, no matter how gorgeous or seemingly endless that leafy season was. If you haven't had your furnace inspected yet, it's time to schedule that essential chore. The same goes for those gutters you haven't cleaned out, the tree you haven't pruned, the windows you haven't caulked. It's good to know your home's enemies. Here's the deal: Pay attention to a few home chores now, and you can relax and enjoy the holidays later.

FIRE

Change furnace filters now. Your house has dust, pet dander and other allergens, and they're all locked up inside with you during the cold-weather months, promoting colds, sabotaging your furnace's efficiency and shortening its life. When you go to buy your filter, check the label on how long it lasts, then buy enough filters to last until air-conditioning season begins. (If you use a HEPA device, change or clean that filter, too.)

Check batteries on smoke and carbon monoxide monitors. If it's been more than a year, change them anyway (check your city's website to see how to safely dispose of batteries). This time, hide a bit of masking tape under the unit with the date you last tested it, or add it your phone's calendar app for next year. Tired of the chirping and false alarms, or just due for an update? The people who brought you the Nest thermostat are offering their version of a

Winter weather often hits at the most inconvenient time. And even if your wheels - like the 1962 Willys truck at Nikki Maloney’s home on Monroe in
Winter weather often hits at the most inconvenient time. And even if your wheels - like the 1962 Willys truck at Nikki Maloney's home on Monroe in south Denver - is an antique, your snow shovel shouldn't be. (The Denver Post)