13 Winter Home Maintenance TipsFebruary 18, 2021
Home maintenance is important to protect your home, extend its life, and also keep it from feeling cluttered. Here are a few winter home maintenance tips to help you prep and protect your home through winter and into the spring:
1. Check the Furnace Filter
You will want to check your furnace’s filter on a monthly basis throughout the winter. You will want to replace the filter almost as regularly as well. This way your air will remain clean and dust-free.
Keeping your filter clean and debris free may also help keep the furnace filter from catching on fire. Many fires have started from filters that were ignited because they were covered in flammable dust.
Cleaning or replacing your filters regularly will help make your home safer. You should also clean or replace the filter to avoid having allergens in your home. By cleaning the filter, the air will be cleaner and your family may be less likely to get the case of the sniffles.
2. Have the Chimney Swept
If you have a chimney, you will want it to be cleaned every year. Regular chimney cleaning and inspection ensures your chimney will be free of the harmful creosote that builds up over time.
Creosote is highly flammable and can cause a dangerous house fire in a matter of minutes. If you have a chimney, you will need to hire a chimney cleaner once a year to avoid such a deadly possibility.
3. Invest in Good Outdoor Tools
It is a great idea that you invest in good quality outdoor tools. This way, when you need to shovel two feet of snow you will be ready and will not strain your back. You should also invest in a high-quality broom.
Then, you can sweep away light snow instead of bringing out the shovel. You may also want to get a few bags of kitty litter to create traction on your driveway and sidewalks. It is cheap, affordable, and much more eco-friendly than salt or snowmelt.
4. Make a Power Outage Kit
While we may not think of it, there are plenty of times throughout winter where the power goes out. Making a power outage kit can give you and your family a bit of relief if and when the power goes out and the cold begins creeping into your house. Here are a few things you may want to keep in your kit:
- Nonperishable Food
- Three Days Worth of Water
- Heat-Saving Blankets
- Hand or Solar-Powered Space Heaters
- First Aid Kit
5. Weatherproof Your Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are often the biggest culprits for energy loss during the winter. Weatherstripping or caulk can help you seal any gaps. If your windows or doors are too outdated or are damaged, it may be better to replace them instead.
By weatherproofing your windows and doors, you can help reduce drafts and help keep your home more comfortable during the winter months. Plus, by preventing drafts where you can, your HVAC system won’t need to work as hard to maintain a consistent temperature and may even help you save a bit on your energy bills.
6. Check Your Water Tank
Generally, you need to replace a water tank every 10-15 years. So, if it’s been that long since yours was replaced, it may be time for a new one. Regardless, you do want to look over your water tank carefully to make sure there are no cracks or other concerning damage.
Once you know you don’t need to replace it, then you can flush your water tank to remove any sediment that may have built up leading up to winter. Then, take the extra step to insulate your water tank. There are water heater insulation blankets manufactured specifically for this purpose.
7. Clean Your Dryer Hose
A lot of people know to clean out their dryer filter regularly. But, not everyone remembers to clean out the dryer hose. Lint and debris can build up in your dryer hose and clog it over time. A clogged dryer hose is a big fire hazard for your home.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, firefighters in the United States respond to approximately 13,820 fires each year that are caused by clothes dryers. Of these, around 27% are caused by an accumulation of lint in the dryer vent and hose.
By regularly checking and cleaning the lint filter, vent, and exhaust while also emptying the dryer hose and replacing it as needed, you can prevent this hazard from endangering your family and your home.
8. Clear Out Your Gutters
Clearing out your gutters is essential during and after the fall and it’s just as important during the winter. Any debris in your gutters can freeze inside them or clog them.
Clogged gutters during the winter can lead to ice dams and damage to your roof and other areas of your home. By clearing them out, you ensure they are working as intended to direct water away from your home.
9. Prepare Your Pipes
During the winter, pipes can freeze and burst, which causes big headaches and can cause a lot of damage to your home. Before temperatures start dropping, it’s a good idea to prepare your pipes and protect them from the cold to prevent freezing or bursting.
The best way to do this is to insulate them. Any outdoor pipes should be properly insulated against drops in temperature. Pipes in the basement, garage, and near windows and doors will also need insulation.
On top of this, it’s also important to disconnect garden hoses from your outdoor faucets as winter rolls in. In addition to insulation and other prep, keeping your home above 50 degrees Fahrenheit can help keep your indoor pipes from freezing.
10. Test Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
Another one of the winter home maintenance tips is to test smoke detectors in your home. For your safety and security, you should regularly check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors year-round and especially coming into winter.
In doing so, you can have peace of mind throughout the rest of the season. And, you can check this item off your to-do list well before you start on spring cleaning and home maintenance.
11. Dust Walls, Wall Hangings, and Fan Blades
While you, and your nose, may hate this chore, it is always good to dust around your house. This can be especially good going into the winter when you will likely be spending more time inside.
You might be amazed at the difference in how your home looks and how the air feels. If you want to freshen your home even more, you can add a dehumidifier, opt for an essential oil diffuser, or pick up some indoor plants.
12. Shred Unnecessary Paperwork
Although it’s not the most fun activity, going through and getting rid of unnecessary paperwork can be a good thing to tackle when you are stuck inside. You can shred unnecessary paperwork. Or, if you have a fireplace, you can use unnecessary paperwork to help start fires as you need them throughout winter.
13. Plan Your Garden
If you have a green thumb or want to get started come spring, winter is a wonderful time to plan your garden. Not only can tending a garden brighten your day, but it can also improve your landscaping and keep it looking beautiful all year.
If you want to start a backyard garden, start by working out your plans on paper and convert them to the computer if necessary. You’ll want to plan out how much space to set aside for the garden, the types of plants you want, etc.
These are just a few winter home maintenance tips to help you prep your home for winter, protect it throughout, and maybe even get a head start on spring cleaning. For tips you can use year-round, take a look at this basic home cleaning & maintenance guide.