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Winter Home Maintenance Checklist 

Winter Home Maintenance Checklist 

The season has officially changed from summer to autumn. Here at Fixer, we are preparing for a chilly wonderland ahead with our winter home maintenance checklist. We’ve turned to the Old Farmer’s Almanac 2023-2024 Winter Forecast for a peek into the upcoming months. The prediction is snow, seasonable cold, and all of winter’s delights across North America. Snow-prone areas should expect above-normal snowfall, with the exception of our friends in the Pacific Northwest, who can anticipate a drier-than-normal winter. The forecast indicates that the Midwest and Northeast will start receiving snow at the beginning of November this year. Additionally, Texas and California can anticipate wetter-than-usual weather, along with cool temperatures, as shown on the winter map.

No need to panic though, there’s still time to prepare your home for the upcoming winter months. We’ve put together a winter home maintenance checklist to make sure your home is ready for whatever lies ahead.

As part of our Fixer winter home maintenance checklist: we recommend sealing drafts and eliminating cold spots to help improve the energy efficiency of your home. We do this by caulking any holes or openings around windows and apply weatherstripping around exterior doors.

Winterize Your Home

What does it mean to winterize your home? Winterizing or weatherizing your home is the process of protecting your home’s interior from outside elements. Drafts in your home can cause your heating system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. This could lead to higher energy bills. At Fixer, we recommend sealing drafts and eliminating cold spots to help improve the energy efficiency of your home. We do this by caulking any holes or openings around windows and apply weatherstripping around exterior doors. Depending on the condition of the windows, using window film or updating your blinds can also keep the heat in. Pay attention to cracks around your home’s exterior, especially in the garage area to avoid unwanted pests from entering. 

As part of our Fixer winter home maintenance checklist: inspect your exterior doors to ensure the doors are functioning properly before winter.

Inspect Exterior Doors

On the topic of winterizing your exterior doors, you’ll also want to ensure the doors are functioning properly. Now is the time to make sure the hardware and locks are in good condition. If your door(s) are in poor condition overall, it might be time to consider upgrading them before the winter hits. Either way, Fixer is here to help you navigate through all door related issues! 

Garage Door Opener Check

Continuing on the popular topic of doors, next up is preventative maintenance for your automatic garage door opener. We recommend periodically testing your garage door safety sensors to avoid potential accidents. It’s also great practice to get in the habit of annually lubricating hinges, rollers, chains, and pulleys.

Reinstall Storm Windows and Doors

By reinstalling your storm windows and door inserts during the fall, you’ll keep your home more insulated. At Fixer, we will also remove window screens for our customers and put them in storage for the winter. This will help prevent damage to your screens from snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. 

As part of our winter home maintenance checklist: make sure your water fixture shut off valves under sinks and in crawlspaces are working ahead of cold weather. In case of a water emergency, you'll need to be able to turn off the water valves quickly.

Plumbing Preventative Maintenance

Knowing where to shut off the water supply to your home is something every homeowner needs to know. This is typically located in the basement of your home. Preparation is key for handling unexpected emergencies, like dealing with a burst pipe during chilly weather conditions. Aside from the main water valve, you’ll also want to make sure your individual fixture water shutoffs are working. Installing extra insulation to exposed pipes located under sinks, a basement, or crawlspaces will add a layer of protection.

By installing an HVAC smart home thermostat, such as a Google Nest, you'll heat your home more efficiently.

Heating Your Home

We’re all about keeping your home warm and functional during the colder months. We have a few tips to make sure you can heat your home efficiently and safely. 

HVAC Furnace & Thermostat: before the freezing weather hits, it’s good practice to test out your furnace. Optimize your air quality by regularly changing the filter every three months, effectively reducing the accumulation of dust and allergens. At Fixer, we’ve been busy upgrading our customers thermostats to a smart home device, such as a Google Nest. A programmable thermostat can save you a significant amount of money. Set it to reduce the temperature slightly when you’re away and return to a comfortable temperature when you’re at home. If you’re planning on traveling, you’ll want to keep your thermostat above 55-60 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing. Having a smart thermostat will give you full control and peace of mind while away. 

Gas Fireplace: how often you clean your fireplace can depend largely on how much you use it. As advised by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), annual chimney cleaning is essential to prevent the build-up of creosote. Regular maintenance tasks include removing ash debris, inspecting for cracks, ensuring proper damper function, and maintaining the integrity of the chimney cap’s protective screening.

Adjust Your Ceiling Fans: in cooler months, your ceiling fan should be spinning clockwise at a low speed. Since warm air rises, this allows for the redistribution of warm air that tends to drift toward the ceiling. 

As part of our winter home maintenance checklist: prepare outdoor water spigot for winter weather and cold temperatures.

Outdoor Maintenance

So much to do indoors, we definitely don’t want to forget some major to-dos outdoors before wintertime hits. Ranging from patio furniture to water spigots, we’ve complied a list of reminders for you below! 

Winterize Outdoor Spigots (Outdoor Faucets): first start by disconnecting any garden hoses from your spigots and put them in storage. Most spigots have their own water shut off valve located in the basement or a crawlspace. You’ll then want to turn this valve off. Depending on how cold the weather will get in your area, you can also cover your spigots with insulation covers. 

Disassemble Patio Furniture: keep your patio furniture and cushions in great shape by putting these items in storage for the winter. Prolonged exposure to harsh winter temperatures can lead to warping, water damage, and discoloration, emphasizing the importance of storing furniture appropriately during the off-season.

Porch Area & Entrances: addressing safety measures before winter is essential for your exterior entrances and walkways. Simple tasks such as replacing light bulbs, ensuring proper lighting, applying anti-slip tape to steps, reinforcing handrails, repairing fences, and installing security cameras can significantly improve safety.

Fixer showing a customer how to work a smart thermostat.

Some of the most crucial preventative maintenance tasks happen during the wintertime to avoid major repairs or accidents. These are a group of to-dos you do not want to skip! Stay on track with your winter home maintenance checklist, by downloading it here

If you need help with any of the winter home maintenance tasks mentioned, Fixer is here to support you! With our Fixer Membership you’ll worry less about home maintenance and repairs. Add tasks to your interactive to-do list and count on your assigned Fixer to get it done. Learn more by visiting fixer.com.

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