12 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter

You don’t have to wait until the temperatures begin to fall to start preparing your house for winter. Whether you want to winterize your home yourself or find a local handyman near you to help with the task, there are 12 things you can do now to prepare your home for winter. 

1. Clean Gutters to Prevent Ice Dams

Ice dams in your gutters can cause more issues than you might think! Even if you live in an area without a lot of snow, rain can accumulate and freeze in your gutters if they aren’t properly cleaned.

When preparing your house for the winter, start by cleaning out your gutters. While the temperatures are still comfortable, take the time to remove all leaves and debris. This will help to keep ice dams from forming and water from seeping into your roof and leaking through your ceiling.

2. Recaulk Windows and Doors to Seal Drafts

Keep your warm air in and the cold air out by checking your windows and doors for drafts. If you come across one as you are getting your house ready for winter, recaulk around the perimeter to reseal them and provide greater protection. This will also help improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and help lower energy costs. 

3. Get Your Roof Inspected for Damage

Summer storms can cause damage to your roof that you might not be aware of. This could allow the cold weather and moisture from snow and ice to seep inside. Before the cold weather moves in, schedule a roof inspection to ensure everything is ready for the winter months.

4. Reverse Ceiling Fans to Circulate Warm Air

Want to save money on your heating bills this winter? Reverse your ceiling fans!

When your fans run in a clockwise direction, it helps to force warm air away from the ceiling and redistribute it throughout the room. When the whole room is warmer, your heater won’t need to work as hard, helping it to run more efficiently, which will help lower your heating bills.

5. Get Your Chimney Inspected and Cleaned

If you have a fireplace, don’t forget your chimney.It’s often one of the overlooked steps of how to prepare your house for cold weather. Inspecting your chimney will help you avoid fire hazards by ensuring it is clean and free of debris. Hire a local professional to inspect and clean your chimney before using your fireplace this winter.

6. Tune-Up Home Systems

Speaking of getting things inspected and cleaned by a professional, now is a great time to have your other systems serviced! Have an HVAC service professional check out your heating system to ensure it’s working properly and ready to heat your home after months of nonuse.

Your air conditioning system probably worked hard over the past few hot months, so remember to get it checked too! A routine check will ensure that it is properly winterized for the upcoming seasons and ready to jump back into action when the summer temperatures return.

7. Cut Back Tree Branches

Winter storms, wind, and ice could mean trouble if you have a lot of trees around your house! Take the time now to trim branches that hang over your home, cars, or power lines before heavy snow, ice, or strong winds take them down this winter. If you’re not comfortable working on a ladder or with heights, hire a local pro to get the job done.

8. Insulate Pipes to Prevent Freezing

You aren’t the only thing that gets cold in the winter. Your pipes do, too, especially if they aren’t insulated or used frequently, such as those connected to outdoor faucets or ones that are on the exterior of your home. 

When deciding how to winter-proof your home, insulating your pipes is an important step on the home winterization checklist. Insulation will help prevent pipes from freezing, expanding, or bursting and causing expensive water damage to your home.

9. Maintain Your Shed

Sheds are great tools, especially for storing things like lawn or pool equipment. However, they also provide a great place for wildlife to take cover, so don’t forget about them when preparing your house for winter.

Keep the critters out by making sure your shed is properly maintained. Repair any holes, clean out any unnecessary equipment or debris, insulate the walls, and seal any gaps or cracks to keep your shed protected and functional for years to come.

10. Check Outdoor Lights

Working on the exterior of your home is much easier when the temperatures aren’t freezing, so take a few minutes now to inspect all of your outdoor lights, ensuring they are in proper working condition and that the electrical wires running to them are in good shape. If necessary, schedule professional service to make any needed repairs or upgrades.

11. Test Your Heating System

When the temperatures drop, and you want to keep warm, the last thing you want is to turn on your heating system and find out it isn’t working properly. 

Avoid any issues by testing your heating system before it gets too cold. This way, you can schedule repairs to your heating system before you actually need them.

12. Why Preparing Your House for Winter is Important

Getting your home ready for winter is an important part of being a prepared homeowner. Not only will maintaining systems properly lower your energy costs, but it will also help to prolong the life of these essential systems.

When you take the steps to prioritize winterizing your home, you can catch issues and necessary repairs before they become costly or time-consuming. Making sure your home is ready for the winter will keep the cold air outside so you can stay warm and cozy inside throughout the winter.

Need Help Winterizing Your Home?

If preparing your house for winter sounds like too big of a task for you to take on at the moment, don’t worry! Your local Mr. Handyman® is here to help!

All of our handyman services, including our winterization services, are backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise™, which means you can expect the job to be done right the first time.

Getting your house ready for winter is a lot easier than when you work with experts at Mr. Handyman. Ease your mind and leave the heavy lifting to us by requesting service today!