Preparing your home or condo for winter

In case the cooler weather and growing number of Christmas decorations didn’t tip you off – winter is coming.  That means it’s time to get your home ready for the cold weather!  The lower temperatures and increased moisture levels can wreak havoc on your home and wallet, so it’s best to be proactive.  Here are a few areas of home maintenance that can help get your house or condo ready for winter.

Photo Credit via Flickr

Photo Credit via Flickr

Outside Stuff:

Doors and Windows

Check the weather stripping around exterior doors. If it is cracked or if you can see spaces when the door is closed, consider replacing it.  Check all your windows for cracks in the seal and caulk if needed.  You’ll see some immediate benefit as drafts are reduced and over time, the caulking and weather stripping will pay for itself in energy savings.

Roof, Gutters & Downspouts

If you are comfortable heading up onto your roof, consider inspecting your roof shingles and flashings. Clean out all debris from gutters and downspouts so that the winter rains and snows don’t get clogged up.  Frozen clogs can lead to flooding in unexpected places and be very expensive to repair.


Clear away any dead shrubbery or debris near your foundation.  Along with cleaning up the esthetics of your outdoor space, this will allow good air circulation and less water retention near your foundation.  And while you’re there, you should check your walls for any cracks, and seal if needed.

Outdoor Faucets & Irrigation Systems

You never want to risk having frozen water where frozen water should not be!  If you have any outdoor faucets, turn them off for the season and drain all garden hoses and store them for the winter.

Inside Stuff:

Heating System, Fireplace and Chimney

Your furnace, fireplace, and chimney should get yearly servicing to clear out blockages and debris that can be a fire hazard. If you live in a managed condo building, the property management company will often schedule this for you, but if you’re in a house, make sure you set your Google Calendar reminder.

Floors and walls

Finally, a good cheap way to keep the house warm and inviting during the winter is to break out the heavy rugs and throws.  A nice, plus rug will feel great on bare feet and keep you from heating up floors unnecessarily.  And really, who doesn’t like a nice quilt or two?

What other winter-readiness tips do you have?

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  1. We have a window unit air conditioner that we plan to keep in our window this year (long story short our downstairs neighbor is a jerk and we paid a lot of money to have a hvac man attach a tube to redirect the drips), so we’ll be getting a cover to keep the cold air out (hoping it does a good job and doesn’t leak in too much cold air).

    • CF says:

      Ah, a cover is a good idea. I lived in an apt with a window air conditioner once and it leaked sooooo much cold air in, all the time. Hopefully yours is well sealed!

  2. We’re getting our wood burning fire place swept and WET tested, so that we know it’s safe for burning all winter. It saves us quite a bit of money on our heating bill.

  3. I just patched a corner of our house where some of the cement had broken off. You can order “ready” cement on Amazon that requires almost no work at all and ships pretty cheap considering it’s weight. Worked great. I do have quite a bit of work to do in the yard before Winter rolls around, but it is supposed to snow today so I might have missed the boat.

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