Get Ready for Cold Weather: 10 Home Maintenance Tasks to Do Now

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

It’s not as fun as carving pumpkins or putting fake spider webs in all of your doorways, but there are a number of home maintenance tasks you can do right now that will help get your home ready for fall and the cold winter months.

1. Inspect your heating situation

Book (or if you’re knowledgeable, do one yourself) a heat inspection to make sure your primary and secondary heat sources are in good working order and ready to keep you and your home warm this coming fall and winter. Also take a tour around your house to make sure all your vents are free and clear (and haven’t had furniture or accessories moved in front of them).

If you have a fireplace or a wood-burning stove, consider starting to stock up on wood now. And book a professional to come clean your chimney if you have one. Even if it feels a little early to be doing some of these heating things now (especially if it’s really hot where you are still), you could be getting a jump on this task (and the crowds also doing the same thing) if you start now.

2. Reverse your fans

Is it done being hot where you live? Reverse your ceiling fan direction.

→ Keeping Your Cool: How To Make Your Ceiling Fans Work Better

3. Clean that dryer vent

Clean your exterior dryer vent (an important task to do regularly to prevent fire danger).

4. Vacuum fridge coils

Another regular home maintenance task that you should make sure you check off a few times a year.

5. Wash windows and screens

Summer rainstorms may have really mucked up your windows, so give them a wash inside and out. Take the time to clean the screens while you’re at it, too.

→ How To Wash a Window

6. Do a home safety check

Test (and replace if needed) smoke detector batteries, check all locks, and look for things like loose knobs, shelves, tripping hazards and more.

7. Check your gutters

Clean out your gutters and downspouts. Make sure there aren’t any clogs and make sure that the water is flowing away from your house well enough. While you’re up there, take a look at your roof and inspect it for any damage or visible weak spots.

8. Consider creatures

Do you have a crawl space under your home? Or an attic? You might want to make sure that all access is blocked from any creatures who might be looking for a warm home to nest in this fall and winter.

9. Prevent your pipes from bursting

Check your pipes! Make sure any that are vulnerable to cold weather are insulated and ready for any freeze warnings in the upcoming season.

10. Make a plan for weatherizing

Plan (and maybe even start!) your home weatherizing. If you own your home, you might consider inspecting your insulation (and decide if it needs more before winter comes). You’ll want to check your windows and caulk up any leaks. You’ll want to check your door sweeps to see if they’re intact or need replacing. Again, even if it feels too early to be tackling these things (particularly if falls are still pretty warm where you live), winter might sneak up on you faster than you think and by getting ahead of the game, you won’t be caught unprepared!

→ Winter Is Coming: How To Weatherize Your Hom