Household Tasks for Winter

  • Clean or replace furnace air filters each month or as recommended by the service technician during the heating season.
  • After consulting your hot water tank owner’s manual, drain off a dishpan full of water from the clean-out valve at the bottom of your hot water tank to control sediment and maintain efficiency.
  • Clean humidifier two or three times during the winter season.
  • Clean bathroom fans, fire and smoke detectors and fridge and freezer grills using a vacuum.
  • Turn off central air conditioner at the electrical panel, and cover the unit outside to protect it from the elements
  • Shut off water to external taps to protect against burst or damaged plumbing to these faucets.
  • Check pressure gauge on all fire extinguishers; recharge or replace if necessary.
  • Check fire escape routes, door and window locks and hardware, and lighting around outside of house; ensure family has good security habits and replace batteries in smoke detectors and CO2 detectors.
  •  Check for condensation on your windows, which can cause significant damage over time and pose serious health problems — and take corrective action if necessary.
  •  Remove screens from all windows and store until Spring. This will minimize condensation around your windows.
  • Check all faucets for signs of dripping and change washers as needed. (Faucets requiring frequent replacement of washers may be in need of repair.)
  • For all faucets that are rarely used, run water periodically to keep water in the trap.
  • Clean drains in dishwasher, sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls.
  • Monitor outdoor vents, gas meters and chimneys for ice and snow buildup. Consult with an appropriate contractor or your gas utility for information on how to safely deal with any ice problems you may discover.
  • Examine windows and doors for ice accumulation or cold air leaks. If found, make a note to repair or replace in the spring.
  • Examine attic for excessive frost accumulation. Check roof for ice dams or icicles. If any of these indicators are present, consult a roofing expert for advice on whether you need to maintain or repair your roof or attic venting.
  • Clear snow away from basement windows, vents and exhausts.