The Complete Winter Home Maintenance Guide

As you bundle up for the cold season, don't forget to do the same for your house.

This winter home maintenance guide will prepare your living space so you're warm and cozy while enjoying your cocoa drink.

Free  Snow Covered Wooden House Near Trees Stock Photo

Interior Winter Maintenance

Let's go room by room and cover essential tasks to keep your home warm and functional during winter.


Winter means shorter days and less time for shut-eye. Cozy up your bedrooms for a restful sleep during those dark, frosty nights with these pointers:

  • Seal window drafts using caulk, weatherstrips, or foam insulation.
  • Use door draft stoppers to cover gaps and prevent cold air from creeping in.
  • Install thick or blackout curtains to insulate the room. If you crave natural light during the day, draw them open in the morning to let the sunlight in.
  • If you have cold floors, place a rug or slippers by your bed to keep your toes toasty.
  • Combat dry air with a noise-free humidifier or diffuser.
  • Strip off your summer bedding and switch to a duvet with a TOG (Thermal Overall Grade) of 12 and up.

Living Room

Transform your living room into a warm and inviting space despite those arctic blasts:

  • Schedule a chimney inspection and cleaning. Fix masonry cracks and remove obstructions like animal nests and other debris.
  • Close the chimney damper when not using the fireplace to prevent the warm air from escaping.
  • Opt for thicker, textured rugs to provide insulation and a barrier against chilly surfaces.
  • Throw in plush throws, soft cushions, and cozy blankets to create a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Set your ceiling fan to rotate clockwise to push warm air down.
  • Open your blinds and curtains in the mornings for a flood of natural light and warmth.


Here's how to keep the heart of your home comfortable for cooking and dining:

  • Inspect water pipes and lines to the sink, refrigerator, and dishwasher to prevent freezing.
  • Tiled or hardwood flooring can get pretty cold during winter. Add throw rugs in high-traffic zones, such as dining areas and along kitchen counters.

Other Essential Winter Indoor Maintenance Tips

Finish winterizing your indoor space with these steps: 

Change Your Furnace Filter

If you cannot remember the last time you changed your furnace filter, now is the time to do it. A dirty filter forces your furnace to work harder, shortening its lifespan.

From here on, make filter replacement a routine at least every three months.

Have Your HVAC System Serviced

Book a service appointment to ensure your heating system is in the best shape when the icy weather hits.

Consider making the call ASAP, as service slots tend to fill up quickly during peak seasons.

Open Cabinet Doors That Cover the Plumbing

Plumbing lines behind closed cabinet doors can freeze in the winter. Make it a habit to leave these cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate.

Flush Your Water Heater

Follow these instructions to remove gunk and scale buildup from your hot water tank:

  1. Set your gas heater to off or pilot. If using an electric heater, turn off the breaker that powers it.
  2. Find the gas pipe leading to the pilot light and thermostat and turn off the valve.
  3. Turn off the cold water valve near the top of the heater.
  4. Keep hot water running in your tub or sink during the process to prevent a vacuum in the lines.
  5. Attach a garden hose to the drainage spigot and lead it outside or to a bucket.
  6. Open the spigot and drain the tank until the water runs clear and sediment-free.
  7. To flush the tank, open the cold water spigot leading to the heater. Turn it off once the water is clear.

Exterior Winter Maintenance

The cold can be particularly unforgiving to your home's exterior. Explore these tips to brave the harsh winter elements: 

Fix Your Roof and Clean Your Gutters

Snow accumulates on roofs fast. Here's a quick guide to prevent winter mishaps:

  • Check your gutters and the end caps of your drain for cracks, leaks, and loose pieces. Enlist a pro to repair any issues you can't fix yourself.
  • Clear away all debris that might lead to clogs or overflows.
  • Prune overgrown trees and trim overhanging foliage while it's still nice out.
  • Replace damaged or missing shingles.

Protect Your Pipes

Below are tried-and-tested strategies to protect your pipes from freezing and bursting:

  • Inspect pipes for blockages, especially in vulnerable areas like the garage, where freezing is more likely.
  • Shut off the water supply to spigots, especially when you'll be away for long periods.
  • Drain and disconnect garden hoses or sprinklers.
  • Insulate exposed lines using foam insulation.

Store Your Gardening Equipment

Once you've finished your gardening tasks for the year, it's time to stow away your tools and equipment until spring.

  • Give your lawn mower a thorough clean. Disconnect the batteries, drain the gas, or use a fuel stabilizer to keep the gas safely in the machine all winter.
  • Scrape off any caked-in mud from your garden tools with a putty knife or wire brush. Hose them down and let them dry completely before tucking them away in your shed or garage.
  • Put away cushions and lawn furniture. If you choose to leave your furniture outside, protect the individual pieces in a weatherproof cover or heavy-duty tarp.

More Winter Home Maintenance Tips

Hack winter with these practical tips:

  • Keep doors closed for rarely used rooms to minimize energy waste.
  • Close the garage door at all times to protect your vehicles and all items stored inside.
  • Save on heating costs by using a programmable thermostat. Program thermostats for consistent daytime temperatures and lower nighttime settings.
  • Stay in control of your central heating anywhere with a smart thermostat. For ductless heat pumps, opt for smart AC controllers to save energy.
  • Have your shovels and de-icers like salt and sand ready. Ensure generators and snowblowers are serviced and gassed up for immediate use during storms.
  • Install storm doors and windows to fortify your house during inclement weather.
  • Bring your potted plants indoors. Apply a thick layer of mulch around your trees and garden patch to insulate the soil.
  • Stock up on groceries and other winter home essentials like candles and batteries to prepare for weather emergencies.
  • Consider professional help with major repairs.

Wrapping Up

Feel free to bookmark this winter home maintenance checklist. It's your guide to keep your home cozy, your wallet happy, and potential winter issues at bay.

Prep in the fall before the temperature dips and the snow makes it too miserable to tackle these chores.