For homeowners or home dwellers, that means there are chores that need doing to ensure a safe and healthy home for the months to come.
From the basement to the attic, here are some things that need tending to in the weeks ahead:
The furnace: You can't through a winter without one in our part of the world — or at least a heating stove of some sort. But the beast in the basement needs regular care and maintenance to run efficiently and safely.
"It should be done once a year, particularly in the winter when the furnace will be running. You don't want to have any problems with carbon monoxide," says Wolf Saxler, manager of healthy environments for Toronto Public Health.
Filters should be replaced as frequently as the unit's manufacturer instructs, he says.
"Put a date on it so you know when it was last changed and just replace it. It helps with allergens and dust moving around the house. And it helps with the efficiency of the furnace."
Raynald Marchand of the Canada Safety Council says if there's a humidifier system attached to the furnace, it's a good idea to give it a good cleaning. Bacteria can accumulate in the units, especially the older drum types, he says.
The wood stove or wood-burning fireplace: If you heat with a wood stove or enjoy a blazing hearth on cold winter nights, it's important to make sure your chimney is checked out and cleaned regularly, Marchand says. Creosote buildup in a chimney can trigger a fire.
"If you're using it at Christmas and then you don't use it again, then it can probably go a few years. But if you're using it reasonably ... you probably should have it cleaned every year or two. It depends on usage," he suggests.
Check for radon: A radioactive gas emitted from the soil, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. It's responsible for about 16 per cent of lung cancer cases in this country.
All homes have some radon, but in some the undetectable gas can build up to dangerous levels. Concentrations vary depending on where you live and the type of soil on which your house is built.
There are measures you can take to reduce the amount of radon in your house if it reaches dangerous levels. But the only way to know how much radon is in your home is to test.
Health Canada recommends homeowners test their homes. You take readings over several months and the best time to start is in the fall and winter, when windows are closed.
You can find plenty of information about radon and radon testing on Health Canada's website at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/radiation/radon_brochure/index-eng.php.
Space heaters: If you use a space heater to take the chill out of a drafty room, it's a good idea to check out the state of the unit before plugging it in for the season, Marchand says.
Space heaters should be plugged directly into a wall socket, not into an extension cord that can heat up because of the amount of power the units draw, he notes. "They take a lot of electricity so you've got to make sure you don't overload the circuit."
Marchand also suggests space heaters should be located away from flammable items when in use.
Carbon monoxide detectors: Hopefully if you've kept your furnace in good nick, carbon monoxide shouldn't be a problem. Still, experts recommend having carbon monoxide detectors to alert you in case there is a build up of the odourless gas, which can kill.
Like real estate, with CO detectors the important thing is location, location, location. A unit in the basement, near the furnace, isn't going to be of much help if you are losing consciousness two storeys up.
"With carbon monoxide, if the levels do go up it's not noticeable. You'll tend to drift off into sleep. You need the alarm to wake you," Saxler says.
"Make sure you have one in the bedrooms.... If one goes off in the basement, you won't hear it."
Smoke detectors: If yours aren't hard wired, ensuring that the batteries in your smoke detectors are still functioning could save your family in the event of a fire.
The best idea, experts say, is not to wait till the device starts that annoying beeping that signals the batteries are about to die. They suggest people replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors pre-emptively twice a year, when clocks are put forward and turned back in conjunction with the start and end of daylight savings time.
Saxler says it's also worth eyeing the equipment to see if it is past its best-before date.
"They're usually good for maybe 10 years from the date of manufacturing," he says.
"It's like anything: Equipment wears out, they get plugged with dust, things like that. They generally recommend that you change them every 10 years."
The gutters: If your eaves troughs need clearing of fallen leaves, that's going to involve climbing a ladder. And this time of year, ladder falls are a common cause of emergency room visits, data collected a few years ago by the Canadian Institute for Health Information suggests.
It found that between gutter cleaning and Christmas light installations, November is a peak time for ladder fall accidents. Most of the accidents happened at individual homes and most involved middle-aged men.
Marchand says you might want to think about getting a professional to clear out the gutters on your house. But if you decide to brave the climb, be careful.
"Ladder safety is important. The ladder should be attached at the top and you should have somebody at the bottom," he says.Suggest a correction