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5 Must-Do Items for Your Winter Maintenance Checklist

5 Must-Do Items for Your Winter Maintenance Checklist

Fall is a busy time of year, and with the winter holidays fast approaching, home maintenance chores are not always at the top of our priorities. However, proper winter home maintenance is vital to prepare you and your house for the long cold months ahead. Stay safe and cozy this winter by following these five must-dos on your maintenance checklist.


1. Drain Your Pipes and Irrigation System

As the weather cools down, it is important to clear your unused pipes of water. Water sitting in your pipes over the winter can freeze and damage your pipes as the ice expands. To prevent this, disconnect any exterior hoses and faucets and drain the water. You should also do this with your lawn irrigation system.

Drain any water left in the sprinkler-system pipes to avoid freezing and leaks. You will want to call in a professional to service your sprinkler system, so plan ahead before the weather becomes too inclement.


2. Seal Your Home

Sealing your home before winter will not only keep your house warm and toasty throughout the season, but it will also save you money in energy costs. Inspect your windows and door frames for gaps and air leaks. If there are gaps larger than a nickel’s width, you will want to reapply caulking to your window.

Silicone caulk is best used for exterior sealing because it doesn’t shrink and holds up against weather. Moreover, add weather stripping around doors to prevent warm air from leaking out and cold air seeping in during the winter.


3. Inspect Your Heating and Air Conditioning

Before you turn on that heat for the next three to six months, you should get a routine inspection of your heating system. Have a professional technician check your furnace or heat pump to ensure it is in good working order. If there are any problems or inefficiencies with the system, you will want to know before a long winter sets in.

At the same time as you prepare to heat the house, you should take steps to winterize your air conditioner. For exterior units, use a hose to wash down any dirt or debris and brush out any leaves that have collected over the summer and fall. Then, cover the unit with a tarp or air conditioner cover, and secure it tightly with bungee cords. Check your air conditioning unit periodically throughout the winter to make sure it is protected from the elements so it is in good shape come spring and summer.


4. Call the Chimney Sweep

As winter approaches, you want to make sure your chimney is ready to go. Call a professional chimney sweep to come inspect your chimney for debris and buildup. He will check the chimney for any damages that might need repair and then clean out soot, creosote, and debris. If these are left in your chimney, they could pose a dangerous fire hazard to your home. If you plan to you use your chimney a lot throughout the season, get it checked early so you can enjoy the benefits of a cozy fireplace all winter long.


5. Check the Washing Machine Hoses

Your laundry may not be the first thing you think of when you consider your winter maintenance chores, but a faulty or leaky hose can cost you in energy bills and heat loss. Be sure to periodically inspect your washing machine hoses for any signs of wear or damage.

While you’re at it, you should also clean out your dryer’s exhaust duct and the space beneath the unit. This will clear out lint buildup, reducing the risk for fire. By regularly checking your laundry units, you can rest easy knowing the machines are working properly and you aren’t losing money through a leaky hose.

With the holidays approaching, you don’t want a problem with your pipes or a dirty chimney to dampen your spirits. Prepare your home for the winter with these tips, and you can relax in front of your fire without worry.


Author Byline:

Barbara Johnson works in real estate and enjoys finding her clients the perfect homes. In addition, she shares her home improvement and air conditioning tips with others.