Updated: September 24, 2020
For some, people love the change from summer to fall. Other, like me, fight the change every step of the way. Regardless of how you fell, there’s no denying that fall is definitely here and winter is just around the corner. With the changes in seasons, we need to get our house ready for what’s coming. Not doing so can be a costly mistake that could have been prevented with proper planning.
10 Tips to prepare your house for fall & winter
Nobody wants to clean out all the leaves and muck in the beautiful early days of autumn, but it’s now time to face reality and clean out those gutters. If they are left unattended, the gutters will freeze up, clog, and water will eventually seep into your home causing nasty damage. After you clean out the muck, run water through the gutters to check for any misalignment that could cause water damage. Remember to empty and put your hoses away. Also drain the water from your sprinkler system if you have one.
2. Seal cracks, doors & openings
Letting the cold air in and the warm air escape from our house is just throwing money away. Warm air will escape out of any cracks around our windows and doors and make our furnace work that much harder which means a high heating bill. Walk around your exterior to check on any areas on windows and doors that need recaulking.
3. Check weather stripping
Weather stripping loses its effectiveness with age and needs to be replaced every few years. While you’re walk around your exterior checking out for cracks in windows and doors, do the same for stripping around exterior doors, windows and your garage door at the same time.. Replace it if its worn or cracked.
4. Remove|shut-off air conditioning systems
Remove your in-window air conditioners and properly store them to protect the unit for next spring. Whole home A/C units should be powered down from the breaker in your main electrical panel. If you have a safety shut-off switch located outside by the A/C unit that should be turned off as well.
5. Store your outdoor furniture
Outdoor furniture can take a beating in colder climates that see winter storms. Wash off and bring in your outdoor furniture inside if you have room to store it indoors. If you’re leaving your furniture outside, wash it off, stack what you can, and either buy outdoor protectors at a big box store or wrap the furniture well in a heavy plastic.
6. Shut off drains & outside faucets
The faucets you use outside in the summer to wash your car, soak your garden and hose down your kids are susceptible to freezing. These lines need to be drained and shut-off before winter to avoid pipes and faucets cracking or bursting leading to potentially an expensive disaster.
7. Clean & inspect your furnace
It’s better to make an appointment now to get your furnace’s annual check-up to ensure that it’s working properly rather then wait in line with everyone else once you need to start using your furnace.
Change the furnace filter if you have forced-air heating. Change your filter regularly. Put a reminder on your electronic calendar to help you!
If you need to replace your furnace, buy an energy-efficient model. It really helps you save money and energy each month. Check with your local government to see what cash incentives that may be available.
8. Inspect your roof & chimney
Check your roof & chimney before it gets cold and problems could potentially surface. From the outside look for signs of worn, loose or missing shingles and shingles with mold or rot on them. If you see potential issues, have your trusty professional roofer take a look to evaluate. If you have a metal, tiled or roof with solar panels, again have a professional do an inspection.
9. How’s your path and driveway?
The first signs of fall creeping upon us are the leaves changing colors, and its getting darker earlier which means we could be leaving the house in the dark or coming home in the dark. Instead of fumbling in the dark, make this the year where you add more lighting to your effected outdoors areas.
Light up your path along the way so you can see where you are going. Lighting common areas will help prevent accidents for you and your visitors. Especially when the snow and ice hits!
Add motion sensored flood lights above the garage. This is a great way of adding light when you need it the most. Already have motioned sensored lights? Awesome. Change the light bulbs now before they go out in the middle of winter when you need to go up on a ladder on a slippery driveway trying to change them.
Check your paths and driveway to make sure that there are not any loose stones or holes in pavement or walkway. Any loose stones or cracks could cause someone to fall and twist their ankle on a dark and slippery path at night. Repair your pathway now that it is clear.
10. Shovels, snow blowers, antifreeze and SALT
There’s nothing more annoying that waking up late one morning, rushing out the front door, to find yourself doing a balancing act on your front step from the ice storm that was “delivered” over night while you so very carefully inch your way to the garage to find that you have no salt, the shovel is buried at the back of the garage, and you have no clue as to the location of the ice scraper for your car. And to add to your sorrow, you finally find the ice scraper, inch along the roads to your local hardware stores, just to find out everyone has beat you to buying the salt you so desperately needed.
It may seem too early in the season to make sure you have all the equipment you need,like shovels, salt, snow blowers, antifreeze, ice scrapers, etc but that first snow or ice storm sneaks up on us as you will be wishing you had taken the time to check out your inventory earlier. While you’re at it, be sure to winterize your equipment with antifreeze while you can.
More tips on getting your house ready for winter!
- Fertilize your lawn
- Empty & store rain barrels
- Clean and inspect your fireplace
While you’re inspecting your house, remember to….
- Clean and inspect your dryer vent
- Change the batteries in your smoke detectors
- Check that carbon monoxide detectors are working properly
- Inspect fire extinguishers
- Inspect and test sump pumps
Do you want your curb appeal looking great all winter? Need a refresh on your front door + garage door paint colors! Its not too late to update these before the cold weather hits.
Hi! I’m Debi Collinson. I’m a decorator, stylist, color expert, stager and real estate investor.
My design advise to the world is … styling your home is the BIG secret in having an Instagram worthy home as opposed to a ho hum look.
My superpower is about styling to make your home stunning all while adding value to your home at the same time!
It all started back in 2006, at the request of a realtor, where I nervously staged my very first home. The sellers liked their newly styled home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price and stayed. I went back to design school and the rest is history. I’ve been working my “magic” with hundreds of clients to create a stunning retreat whether they’re styling to stay or staging to sell! In my spare time, LOL, I buy “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent. I’m currently living in my 9th “fixer upper.” Sign up to receive my e-mails on how to make your home your stunning retreat,