Brace yourselves — winter is here!

The days are becoming shorter, darker, and colder. What better way to enjoy this cold season than staying at home, snuggling under a warm blanket while sipping hot cocoa by the fireplace? But before you can finally enjoy these fun experiences, let’s first do some not-so-fun things: home maintenance.

Now that winter makes you spend more time indoors, it’s more important than ever to ensure your home is protected against harsh winter conditions. The outdoor’s freezing temperatures and indoor’s dry heated air can create a variety of issues. The last thing you want is to fix frozen pipes and leaky roofs when everyone’s enjoying the holiday season.

Prevention is better than cure. In this article, we’ll share a winter home maintenance checklist to help prevent future damage to your home and ensure your safety.

1. Check your heating system

Your furnace might already be dressed up for Christmas but will it run smoothly in the middle of the cold front? Perform basic maintenance, starting with the furnace filter. Experts suggest replacing the filter at least every six months.

According to home maintenance experts, your furnace must also be checked and tuned up by a professional yearly, especially before the first big snowstorm arrives. Aside from checking for any serious issues like leaks and blockages, a professional will also perform maintenance as a preventive measure. The areas to be inspected and fixed include the gas furnace, boiler, and heat pump.

2. Clean your chimney, vents, and fireplace

Chimney blockage, which leads to unpleasant smoke filling up your home, can surely ruin an otherwise relaxing wintry night. Regular cleaning is key to a properly functioning fireplace. Check if there’s a buildup of soot or an old bird’s nest hiding at the top of your chimney.

You can also have a professional inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney. They may also inspect the gas lines and vents for leaks, and make necessary repairs.

3. Inspect your roof and address potential problems immediately

When was the last time you inspected your roof for damages, signs of wear, and debris? Snow and ice can cause roof damage and an already deteriorating roof is more likely to break.

For roof maintenance, here’s a rundown of the things you can do:

Look for surfaces where snow accumulates. Use a telescoping roof rake for brushing snow off your roof. Get rid of dirt and other debris as well

Look for potential problems like damaged or missing shingles, cracks, or obvious signs of leakage in the attic or crawl space.

Aside from roof repairs, you can also seek roof experts for removing large icicles.

Have your roof inspected by professionals twice a year to check for any signs of damage

4. Clean out your gutters

Do you have any trees nearby? If so, your gutters may be clogged with leaves, sticks, and other debris. Even trees that don’t lose their leaves during autumn tend to have debris during a windstorm.

One easy way to get rid of them is by combing the leaves out with a small rake. When left unaddressed, a clogged gutter can lead to issues like water damage, ice dams, loosened gutters, insects, and rodents.

5. Fill the gaps around your doors and windows

Is your home properly insulated? Gaps around your doors and windows not only leave you feeling cold during winter — but they’ll also increase your energy bills, as your heating systems work harder to warm the cool air.

You may apply caulk around the window trim to seal off any gaps. The next option is to install weatherstripping around the edges of windows and doors, creating a tight seal.

Check for other places where heat may escape too. These include recessed lights, wiring, plumbing, and basement vents and pipes.

6. Reverse the ceiling fan direction

As the weather gets colder, flip your ceiling fans’ reverse switches to move them in a clockwise direction. This gives your heating system a helping hand in managing your home’s temperature and helps you save on your energy bills. Reversing the direction creates an updraft that pushes the warm air that rises toward the ceiling back down into the room. Many people choose to decorate their bedrooms with a neutral color such as beige or white. However, there are a few different ways to go about this.

7. Stock up on winter and emergency supplies

Before you shop for Christmas gifts, ensure you stock up on winter essentials and emergency supplies first. Visit your local hardware store and grocery for the following:

Snow shovels

Ice melt and salt

Power outage supplies (fire starters, water, blankets, canned and non-perishable foods)

Extra chopped wood (for wood-burning fireplace)

Other home maintenance tips to keep in mind: 

Test the sump pump

Turn off outside faucets

Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Prevent pipes from freezing

Store outdoor furniture

Preparing your home for the winter season might sound like a chore but it’s the first step to enjoying the wonderful season to the fullest. May your days be merry and bright —and warm!

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a blogger who once dreamed of becoming an interior designer. When she’s not browsing trendy home decor ideas and DIY home projects online, you can find her writing articles about home improvement and interior design. To know more about home improvement, you may visit All Round Roofing.

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