Winter Home Maintenance Checklist


When regular maintenance is performed the Winter Home Maintenance Checklist can be easy (Check the Fall Checklist first).  Entering into service agreements with companies to come out for yearly maintenance can make our honey-do lists much shorter and help protect our home over the long-term.  For those of us that want to save money and perform some maintenance items ourselves we will have to acquire new equipment and learn new skills. 


Complete All Fall Checklist Items:

Many of the items needed to prepare the home for Winter are found in the Fall checklist. See our Fall Home Maintenance Checklist for more information.

Prepare Entryways for Icy Conditions:

Secure steps and handrails. Keep salt on hand for freezing events. Take steps to mitigate slippery surfaces (grip-tape, textured paint, etc…)

Prevent Plumbing from Freezing/Bursting:

During extreme cold events, faucets located at un-heated or under-heated areas should be opened slightly (regular drips) to help prevent freezing. Plug-in heaters can be used near un-heated or under-heated plumbing areas like washing machines located at porch additions or basements. Plumbing in un-heated areas should be protected by heat, insulation, or heat tape.

Deep Cleaning of Appliances:

Clean inside and out of kitchen and laundry appliances and inspect for leaks. Clean behind refrigerator to maximize proper air flow. Clean out the refrigerator water dispenser drain pan.

Clean Range Hood and Filter:

Hood vent filters become clogged with grease and food debris over time. Most filters are washable filters that can be cleaned with soap and water.

Clothes Dryer Duct Cleaning:

The transition duct (behind the dryer) and even the smooth metal pipe through walls/floors can become clogged over time and any lint within the system can create a fire hazard. They sell attachments for cordless drills that can be used or alternatively a qualified contractor can be hired.

Caulk/Grout Tile Surrounds:

Maintaining the caulk and grout at plumbing areas helps prevent leaks, water damage and air quality issues.

Test and Maintain Garage Doors:

Prevent garage door failures with preventative maintenance such as lubricating moving parts and testing auto reverse safety features. Auto reverse sensors should be no more than 6 inches off the floor on both sides of the garage door.

Schedule Annual Home Maintenance Inspection:

It is recommended to have your property inspected every year. Annual Inspections help prevent financial and personal catastrophes from floods, fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, plumbing or gas leaks, disruption of service, electrical hazards, fall/injury hazards, renter liability, and more.  Existing clients receive a 40% discount off of the initial inspection and new clients receive a $75 discount of an initial Home Inspection– Schedule a maintenance inspection today.


Replace Water Sediment Filter:

Water sediment filters prevent silt from clogging and damaging the plumbing lines and fixtures. Commonly found in homes for well systems, these are becoming more common in homes with municipal water as they help prevent clogging/sediment in the lines when the municipal lines are being repaired/replaced. Follow the directions given with the filter install or call a specialist to maintain the filter.

Clean Faucet Aerators:

Faucet aerators are the small mesh screens at the end of a faucet– they catch small particles that slips through sediment filters as well as reduce the flow coming from the faucet to prevent excessive splashing. The aerators for sinks can become clogged with sediment (well systems or municipal water) The aerators should be removed (a special key or tool is usually required) and cleaned as needed.

Replace HVAC/Furnace filters:

A clogged filter makes a system inefficient! Through time, filters will clog with dust, dirt, and grime which will make your system work harder and less efficient. Dirty filters can also impart smells into the home. Remove the cover of the return vent and replace the paper filter with the correct size.

Inspect for Plumbing Leaks:

Inspect sink cabinets and around tubs/showers/toilets for evidence of a leak. Inspect Water Heater area for leaks and the indoor Heating/Cooling equipment for condensate leaks. If unchecked, a small leak can escalate into a catastrophic water intrusion incident. Contact a plumber for repairs as needed.

Test GFCI outlets and breakers:

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets help prevent electrical hazards near plumbing fixtures or other sources of water by cutting power in the event of a ground fault. To test the outlet just press the test button in the middle of the outlet. If the test does not reset, contact an electrician for repair.


Maintain Plumbing Drains, Dishwashers and Washing Machines:

Clean garbage disposal (if there is one). Unclog sink/tub/shower drains. Clean dishwasher and washing machine (Clean cycles, tablets, enzyme packets and home remedies can be used like vinegar and baking soda). Refer to the owner’s manual of each appliance for more information.

Test Smoke and CO detectors:

The USFA recommends testing the alarms monthly. Smoke Detectors are the most important item in your home when it comes to your family’s safety, these help to alert you and your family to fire and dangerous smoke while there is still time to evacuate. These detectors should be replaced every ten years. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is produced when carbon-containing fuels (such as coal, oil, kerosene, natural gas) are burned. CO inhibits the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to body tissues thus these detectors should be installed and maintained so that the alarm can be triggered by any fuel burning appliance such as gas cookers, boilers, and ovens that are emitting CO. These detectors should be replaced every ten years.

Inspect Fire Extinguishers:

The NFPA recommends inspecting fire extinguishers monthly. Extinguishers help control small fires– specially kitchen fires. Make sure the extinguisher is accessible and charged. Contact your local fire department for further instructions on how to maintain fire extinguishers. In many cases, the fire department will be glad to give instructions and inspect the extinguishers in your home.


Spring Checklist

Summer Checklist

Fall Checklist

Periodic Checklist

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