Your Winter Home Maintenance Guide

With the last few leaves falling and autumn coming to a close, now is the time to prepare your home for cold, wintery days. A little bit of work to get your home ready for the winter will keep you comfortable, safe, and save you money. And, if you’re planning to sell your home in the new year, these top tips will make it a breeze to list your home for sale.

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10 Steps for Easy Home Maintenance This Winter

Step 1

Check All Your Heating Systems

There’s nothing worse than your heating system failing. Get your furnace inspected and tuned-up by a professional each year. And, if your home has a traditional working fireplace, make sure it’s clean and keep it in a safe, operable condition.

Step 2

Test Your Detectors

While smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have long life spans (typically ranging from 7-10 years), it’s still a good idea to test your detectors twice a year and make sure they work properly. Change the batteries, check the expiration dates, then test each device. When testing your detectors, make sure the windows are closed and your heating is turned on.

Step 3

Weather-proof Your Windows & Doors

Be sure to replace any cracked or worn stripping on your windows and doors. This helps to reduce drafts and keep your home extra comfortable during the winter months.

Step 4

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

This is a step a lot of homeowners miss, so listen up! Reversing the direction of your ceiling fan produces an updraft, and in the winter when your heater is running, this moves warm air near the ceiling down to the floor. This can reduce your energy bills by as much as 15 percent.

Step 5

Improve Your Home's Security for Darker Days

As longer nights and shorter days set in, it’s best to utilize extra lighting to illuminate your home.

Leave a light on when you go out to make it look like you’re home even if you’re not. Also, consider a Smart Light or something similar, which allows you to control the lights inside and outside your home through an app.

Step 6

Properly Store Outdoor Furniture

Once the winter season arrives, it’s important to properly store your outdoor furniture. It is recommended that you either move outdoor furniture to a covered area such as a shed or garage during the winter months. Alternatively, you can get weatherproof covers to use in the off season. This helps avoid the unwelcome surprise of damaged or unusable furniture come spring.

Step 7

Clean and Maintain Gutters

Debris has likely collected in your gutters over the summer and fall, which means now is an important time to inspect and clean them out. Water, fallen leaves, and the remnants of summer storms may be stuck in your gutters, which can freeze once temperatures begin to drop. This causes backups and extra weight that pulls gutters away from your house, so it is essential to give them a maintenance check.

Step 8

Check Your Water Tank

Flush your hot water tank once a year to remove any mineral sediment that may have built up leading to winter.

It’s also a good idea to protect your water tank with an insulated blanket, which keeps it from getting cold. A big perk to this extra step is that you’re likely to conserve energy and save money!

Step 9

Inspect Nearby Trees for Disease or Decay

Trees near your home pose a potential danger should snowfall, wind or other extreme weather cause one to collapse or lose limbs.

Trim and remove any dead limbs if necessary. Otherwise, a winter storm could remove a loose branch and drop it on your roof, car, or neighbor’s property.

Step 10

Prevent Pipes from Freezing

Cold air can make your pipes burst, which is just about the last thing any homeowner wants to have happen. If you have plans to leave your home and travel during the holidays, make sure you keep your thermostat on and open cabinets that house plumbing so they can get warm air flow. Adding insulation to your pipes is a good strategy, too.

Thinking of Selling Your Home Next Year?

Staying on top of winter maintenance will make your home shine in the spring. If you’re considering selling your home in the new year, it’s never too early to start a conversation. Contact Ann Milton Realty today to find the value of your home and create a strategy to sell for top dollar when the time is right.