When it comes to winter activities, it’s more fun to plan for the holidays and put up decorations, but as a homeowner it’s important to prepare your house for the freezing temperatures. Not only will performing these maintenance items save you money, they will also prevent future repairs. Here’s what needs to be done:

  • Weatherproof your doors and windows – Check your doors and windows closely for gaps and areas that may cause a draft. You can repair these areas with calk or weather stripping.
  • Reverse your fans – Turning your fans clockwise is a secret to saving money on heat in the winter since it will stop the warm air from rising. Most ceiling fans have a switch that you can simply flip to reverse it.
  • Check for cracks in your hot water heater – Make sure the water tank is crack-free. Chances are if you haven’t installed one in 10-15 years, you’ll need to replace it.
  • Clean your dryer vent hose – Clogged dryer hoses and vents pose huge fire hazards. Prevent these house fires by cleaning your lint filter, emptying or replacing your dryer hose, and regularly checking the vent and exhaust.
  • Get an annual fireplace inspection and chimney sweep- Similar to dryer hoses, clogged chimneys lead to house fires, but they can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Having a yearly inspection and chimney sweep may cost you money, but it could also save your life.
  • Prevent pipes from freezing – Two tips for the prevention of frozen pipes this winter include: (1) always keep the heat on and (2) let your faucets drip to keep the water flowing and make it harder for the water to freeze.
  • Bring the outdoors inside – Be sure to move all outdoor furniture and appliances (grills, lawn mowers, etc.) into your garage or shed, as well as any planters you’d like to save through the season. Also, don’t forget to turn off all sprinkler systems and unplug garden hoses.
  • Clean out your gutters – Emptying the leaves, dirt, and debris will decrease the risk of damage to your gutters once we start getting wintry freezes.
  • Keep the heat on – Always keep the heat on, even when you go away.  By doing so you can keep your pipes warm and prevent them from freezing.  It will also prevent your heating system from working extra hard to bring the house back up to room temperature when you return.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.