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Written By Ellie BrooksPublished 11/07/22
Seasonal checklists make it easy to stay on top of all your home maintenance needs. As the year winds to a close, it is especially important to prepare your home for cold temperatures, snow, and ice. Knowing exactly what to do and when to do it can be overwhelming, but Liberty Home Guard—as always—has your back.
Here are our essential winter home maintenance tips for the average homeowner. Review the list below and remove or add tasks as needed to create a winter maintenance checklist that is tailored to your home.
1. Weatherproof your windows and doors.
Keeping out cold drafts is one of the most essential winter home maintenance tasks. Apply weather stripping to your windows and use sweeps and draft snakes on doors that lead outside or to the basement or attic. Heavy curtains can act as further insulation for your windows.
2. Clean your fireplace and chimney.
If you plan to use your fireplace during the winter, hire a professional service to give the chimney a good cleaning before the cold season begins. Excess soot inside the chimney is a significant fire hazard.
3. Winterize your plumbing.
Review the exposed plumbing in your home for susceptibility to freezing temperatures. Apply insulation to bare piping and replace insulation that appears tattered or worn.
4. Thoroughly clean your oven and other cooking appliances.
Indoor cooking appliances tend to get more use in the winter months. Eliminate fire hazards by cleaning your oven, cooktop, and exhaust fan. Wipe away greasy residue and clean food debris from crevices and other places that are hard to reach. Replace or clean your exhaust fan filter as well.
5. Clean your gutters of leaves and debris.
Clogged gutters facilitate the formation of winter ice dams, which can dislodge shingles and lead to roof leaks. Minimize the risk by cleaning your gutters of leaves, twigs, and other debris before the first snow of the season.
6. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
You should check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every month, but it’s a good idea to incorporate this task into your seasonal checklists to ensure that you don’t overlook it. Reliable smoke detectors are especially important in the winter months, as most home fires occur in December and January.
7. Cover or bring in outdoor furniture and equipment.
If you have patio or deck furniture, keep it safe through the winter by storing it in your shed, basement, or garage. Likewise store your outdoor grill.
8. Replace your HVAC filter.
Prepare for the heating season by replacing the filter in your HVAC unit. This will ensure your system is working as efficiently and cleanly as possible through the winter.
9. Clean your vents and registers.
It’s not uncommon to notice a dusty or stale odor when you turn on your central heating for the first time in the winter. This is caused by dust, pollen, and other particulate matter that accumulate in your ducts and registers over the summer. Hire a professional duct cleaning service, or simply use a vacuum, broom, and damp rags to remove dust from your vents and registers.
10. Prepare a winter survival kit.
Prepare for winter power outages by putting together a survival kit. Include water, flashlights and batteries, blankets, canned food, hand warmers, a first aid kit, and other essentials. It’s a good idea to keep a winter survival kit in your car’s trunk as well.
11. Stock up on snow removal equipment.
The first storm of the season can lead to a run on snow removal supplies. Get ahead of things by stocking up on salt and sand. Ensure you have a couple of reliable snow shovels. If you have a snowblower, check that it is in working order and that you have plenty of fuel.
12. Collect and properly store ample firewood.
Make sure you have a store of seasoned firewood. Keep it in a safe, dry place several feet away from your home.
13. Examine your property for dangerous trees and branches.
Snow, ice, and wind can take down trees and branches. Look for and remove trees and limbs that can damage your home or block your driveway if they come down.
14. Turn off the water to outdoor sources.
Minimize the risk of frozen pipes by shutting off the water to outdoor spigots. Drain your garden hoses before storing them inside.
15. Winterize your pool.
Prep your pool for the cold weather by cleaning it, testing the water chemistry, lowering the water level, and draining water from the pool equipment. Install a cover on top of the pool.
16. Maintain your generator.
Have your generator serviced to make sure it works when you need it. Check that you have enough fuel to withstand a prolonged outage.
17. Look for and block entry points for pests.
Mice and other rodents will seek out the warmth of your home in the winter. Examine your home inside and out and plug up potential points of entry.
18. Check your insulation.
Inspect your attic and crawl spaces to ensure that insulation isn’t damaged or falling. Repair and replace as needed.
19. Reverse the spin direction of your ceiling fans.
Set your ceiling fans to spin clockwise. This will create an updraft to eliminate pockets of cool air and evenly distribute heat.
20. Uninstall window-mounted air conditioners.
Keeping air conditioners in your windows through the winter will allow for cold drafts. Remove and store your window units until the weather warms next year.
21. Ensure you have a working humidifier.
Cold, dry winter air and home heating make humidity levels plummet. If you have a built-in humidifier in your HVAC system, have it serviced. Otherwise, consider purchasing humidifiers for your bedrooms.
22. Service your furnace or heater.
Late summer or early fall is a great time to service your heating system. Replace or clean the filters and have a professional perform a checkup.
23. Seal cracks in your driveway.
Water expands as it freezes, and the ice can worsen existing cracks in your driveway. Keep ahead of things by sealing any cracks with asphalt filler or sealant.
24. Identify and schedule winter home repairs.
Some home repairs are manageable in the wintertime. Select electrical work, kitchen remodeling, bathroom updates, and recarpeting are possibilities. Because winter is often a slower season for contracting work, you might be able to get a good deal. Identify potential projects and reach out to home professionals for quotes.
The obligations of homeownership don’t abate with the change of the seasons. There’s always something to maintain, update, or repair. A home warranty can help you stay on top of things. Coverage through Liberty Home Guard will ensure that your appliances and systems are swiftly and reliably repaired when something goes wrong. We also offer a suite of home services—including gutter cleaning—making it that much easier to work through your seasonal checklists.
Explore our plans by calling (866)-432-1283. You can also use our website for a free quote.