Simple tips for cold season home maintenance to help you prepare a house for winter

As the leaves begin to change colour and a crisp chill fills the air, it's a clear sign that winter is on its way. While many of us eagerly anticipate the joys of the cold season, it's also the time to prepare your home for fall and winter challengings. Cold weather can take a toll on our houses, causing everything from higher energy bills to potential damage if not properly addressed. Fortunately, with the simple fall and winter home maintenance tips, you can ensure your home remains cosy, efficient, and protected throughout the winter months. In this post, we'll walk you through some straightforward yet effective strategies to help you prepare your home for a cold winter, ensuring a warm and worry-free season ahead. 

Fall and winter home maintenance checklist

The time is coming when leaves are raked, scarves are donned, and pumpkin spice fills the air, and it's a crucial period for homeowners to think about house maintenance before winter. To help you navigate this seasonal transition with ease, we've compiled a comprehensive home fall maintenance checklist. These tips are your roadmap for preventing home winter maintenance complications and ensuring that your residence remains protected from storms and cold. 

Here are a few winter hacks to protect your home:

  1. Insulate windows. You may feel cold if you have drafts around your windows or doors. They also result in wasting energy, as the furnace has to work harder. By checking for leaks and installing window insulation, you can prevent drafts, cold and even moulding in the house. Consider recovering weather stripping on windows and sealing any gaps and cracks. Replace your window screens with storm windows in the fall. Even if you don't have storm windows, it is still a good practice to remove your screens. Window glass is the most significant cold bridge of the house. As an essential step of winter home preparation, you may try applying window films. An insulating film for a window creates an additional barrier in the way to your residence temperature changing.
  2. Prepare your roof and gutters for rainfalls and frosting. When it comes to preparing a house for winter, roof problems like missing shingles or damaged flashing should be addressed immediately. Consider adding insulation and improving attic ventilation to avoid heat loss. To prevent leaks from occurring, ice-dams and damage to the eaves or soffit, keep the roof temperature at the same. A gutter may become clogged with leaves, and then fill up with rainwater. If it freezes, the gutter will be filled with water and ice and cause damage to your home. To prevent this, you can clean the gutters by yourself with a small cleaning scoop. After scooping out the gutters, rinse them with a garden hose. Check for signs of drainage problems in the gutters and downspouts. The proper winter gutter maintenance will reduce the need for roofing repair and the likelihood of ice dams and attic moisture.
  3. Inspect the sump pump to keep the basement and foundation from flooding. As you are preparing your home for the winter, make sure to test a pump. It is important to provide sump pump winter maintenance. Otherwise, you might end up with a foundation problem and a basement that's flooded. To initiate winter maintenance of your sump pump, check the pipe exit for any signs of dirt or debris. Then pour at least 20 litres into the pump pit to make the float rise. The pump should turn on and start pumping out the water. You should be able to hear the pump work properly.
  4. As the temperature drops, a well-functioning heating system will help you and family to stay comfortable in colder weather. When winter HVAC maintenance is performed on time, it will increase your comfort by flawless work and minimise your utility bills. The first thing you need to do to complete pre-winter furnace maintenance, replace the furnace filters and thermostat batteries. Your furnace will work harder if your filter is dirty. Inspect a combustion chimney, if it is available. If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, you can call a heating service technician to locate and check the flue. Run your furnace with the windows opened for 30 minutes, before winter arrives. This step of HVAC winter preparation will help remove dirt, dust, and other debris that might accumulated on the heating elements. If not done before window sealing, you'll notice a burning odour and the air quality decreases. 
  5. Don’t neglect winter plumbing maintenance. Verify that the main shutoff valve is functioning properly and is easy to reach. In case of emergency, it is essential to shut off the pipe to prevent bursting. This will minimise the damage and save you a lot of effort. Make sure that the pipes are well insulated. Wrapping exposed pipes with foam is a good idea when winterizing a house. Pay attention to changes in water pressure and watch for leaks. Reduced water flow at faucets or showerheads can indicate pipes getting frozen. It is also important to use an insulating cover for a septic. This will trap the heat and keep it from freezing. For basic septic maintenance in winter time, pour it with hot water. The hot water is commonly used to melt ice, and to regulate the temperature inside the septic tank.
  6. Electrical home maintenance. In winter, you likely will need more heat and electricity. Electrical problems are not something you want to encounter. The best thing to do is to hire an electrician to check the different breakers. So, you can be ready if an outage occurs or there's any problem with electrical in the winter. To catch any potential problems, it is a good idea to have your electrical panel checked before the winter. Damaged wiring can also pose a danger to your house. It increases the danger of causing a fire, or shorting out the power to your home. With severe snowfalls, it is possible that your home will experience a power cut. This can cause problems with appliances plugged in. Surge protectors are designed to prevent electrical surges when there is a power failure and maintain your electrical panel's functionality.

With these essential winter house maintenance tips, you're now armed with a wealth of knowledge to ensure your home remains warm and well-protected throughout the colder months. This must-have homeowner’s winter checklist helps not only keep you comfortable but also saves you from costly repairs. So, as the temperature drops and the snowflakes start to fall, take these steps to protect your home in winter and ensure it remains cosy, efficient, and safe. 

Unlocking hidden savings: unconventional ways to lower your house expenses

Home maintenance in winter is often related to increasing energy bills.Many of us are well-versed in the common practices of reducing your home utility bill, such as turning off lights when leaving a room and being mindful of water usage. However, there are non obvious strategies on how to winterize your house that can have a substantial impact on your monthly expenses. These smart approaches can lead to significant savings while also reducing your environmental footprint. 

Hire home technicians in low season 

In winter, the business activity of many contractors slows down. This is true for a bunch of services on the Fee4Bee marketplace. 

  • Painting projects are often postponed until warmer weather, so interior painting services may see a slowdown in the winter. Painting interior walls during the winter can be done successfully if the proper ventilation and stable temperature are provided. All you have to do is to choose high-quality paint that is formulated to perform well in a range of conditions. If you are planning to update your wall paint while preparing home for winter holidays, it might be a good chance to get a good price from the top painting contractors. 
  • Minor renovations. In low season, you are more likely to get a discount on handyman services, and the best craftsmen will be more available to repair your stair railings or floor tiling. Additionally, their expertise can help improve your home energy efficiency, reducing your utility bills during the winter months when heating costs soar. Take advantage of this for things you've been putting off for a long time. 
  • Woodworking and furniture restoration face activity decrease in fall. While summer is a time of garage sales and curb picking-ups, furniture restoration technicians are quite busy. During the winter months they more likely will take on custom orders for clients, which can be done indoors. These orders could involve building custom furniture pieces or executing specific woodworking requests, such as fixing broken chairs, refurbishing antique pieces.

Benefit from off-peak electricity rates

More affordable rates, typically offered by electric companies during non-peak hours, such as overnight, and can significantly reduce electricity expenses. By scheduling energy-intensive tasks like laundry, dishwashing, or powering water heaters during off-peak times, you can take advantage of lower rates. This way you will also ease the strain on the power grid during peak demand periods.  This not only translates into immediate savings on your utility bills but will also reduce the likelihood of emergency shutdowns associated with overload of the electrical system.

Consider installing smart house devices 

Installing smart home devices is a savvy strategy for modern homeowners looking to trim their utility bills. These devices, ranging from programmable thermostats and dimmer switches to energy-efficient appliances, offer intuitive ways to optimise energy usage during winter. With the ability to remotely adjust settings and set schedules, you can ensure your home operates at peak efficiency, reducing unnecessary energy consumption. For instance, smart thermostats can learn your preferences and adjust heating or cooling automatically, while smart plugs and outlets can monitor and control individual devices for maximum efficiency.
Here is some general information on how smart home devices can optimise energy usage in Canada. 

Energy-saving devices and their benefits

Type of device

Estimated savings


Smart thermostat

Reduce heating costs by 10% to 15% 

In Canada, where winters can be harsh and heating costs significant, this can translate into several hundred dollars in annual savings.

Smart lighting

Reduce lighting energy consumption by up to 80% compared to traditional incandescent bulbs

In a typical Canadian home, this can result in annual savings of around CAD $100 or more.

Smart plugs

Save up to 10% on electricity bills, depending on the number of devices connected

Smart plugs can help eliminate "vampire" or standby power usage from devices that continue to draw power even when turned off.

Energy star appliances

Reduce energy consumption by 10% to 50% compared to older, less efficient models

Over the years, energy-efficient smart appliances can result in substantial savings.

Over time,these smart home devices will pay for themselves and the savings accrued from them will make a noticeable difference in your utility bills.

These measures can add up to significant energy savings while successfully  protecting your home during winter. By taking a proactive approach to improving your home's energy efficiency, you'll not only reduce your utility bills but also contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly living space.


Why is it essential to prepare your home for winter?
How can I save on home maintenance costs during winter?
How can smart home devices help optimise energy usage?
How can I ensure the safety of my home during winter?
What should I do if I need professional help with home maintenance tasks?
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