With cold weather on the way, it’s time to prepare your home for winter. Depending on where you live and the type of house you own, you might have a few simple chores or a long list of tasks. Below are a few common maintenance jobs most homeowners need to tackle before the temperature begins to drop.

Have Your Furnace Inspected and Serviced

To keep your family warm and your home comfortable, have a licensed HVAC professional service and inspect your heating system. They will check the wiring, look for cracked or damaged components, check the pilot light, and replace filters. Any problems found during their inspection can be fixed before the weather gets colder.

To Prepare for Winter, Clean the Gutters on Your Home

After all the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters and downspouts to remove debris that is blocking the channels. Tighten the brackets so the guttering won’t detach from the house if there’s a heavy snowstorm. If you’re worried about debris clogging the gutters during winter, install gutter guards that permit water to flow through but will block leaves and twigs.

Check Windows for Drafts

Check around your windows to make sure they are properly sealed. If you find an area where you feel cold air coming in, use caulk or weatherstripping to close the gap. You’ll improve the energy-efficiency of your home and save money on heating bills. If you have older windows, look into getting them replaced. While this can be a costly upgrade, the savings on your energy bill will be worth it.

Remove Hoses and Drain Sprinklers

Remove the garden hoses attached to spigots outside your house. Before storing them for the winter, drain the water and store them indoors. If your lawn has a sprinkler system, drain the system to prevent the components from freezing and cracking. This can be done by a professional so you don’t risk damaging the sprinkler system.

Insulate Pipes to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Insulate exposed pipes that run along an outside wall, and those in a basement or crawlspace, to keep them from freezing. Purchase pipe insulation at your local hardware store to protect exposed pipes. On frigid nights, open the doors to your under-sink cabinets. This promotes warm air circulation around the pipes.

Plan Ahead to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Don’t wait until there’s a problem to prepare your home for winter. Make a list of what needs to be accomplished and spread the chores out over a few weeks. If you’re performing regular upkeep on your house, there’s a good chance it’s almost ready for the cold months ahead. Use the above tips for a general idea of where to get started.

Maryland Home Inspectors offers inspection services in the Washington DC and Baltimore areas. Contact us to schedule an appointment.