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Winter is coming, and while we wish that simply meant hanging holiday lights, decorating the mantel, and watching Hallmark Christmas movies on repeat—there’s still much more to do. Preparing your home or apartment for the winter is just one of those things you can’t skip out on. Between the money saved on electricity and furniture repairs, your wallet will thank you later. Below we’ve put together a winter home maintenance checklist to ensure your home is ready for the cold weather ahead.   

Weatherproof Doors and Windows  

The hot weather of the summer months can cause seals around your windows and door frames to crack. You may not notice when the climate outside is fair but leaks and cracks can leave you facing a chilly home with a higher heating bill in the winter. As part of your home maintenance, be sure to feel around the window and door frames for any drafts. You can re-caulk or install weather stripping’s as needed to keep your home toasty during winter.   

Reverse Your Fans  

Energy Star, the U.S. Department of Energy, says turning your fan clockwise is the secret to saving money on your heating bill in the winter. Your fan will produce an updraft and push the airflow down, which will stop the warm air from rising, keeping your home warmer for cheaper. But how do you do this? Most fans have a switch or button that can simply reverse the direction of the fan. If the switch is not easily accessible outside the fan, it may be located somewhere inside.  

Check the Heating System and Fireplace 

If it’s been a while since a professional has serviced your heating system, have someone come by to inspect it to ensure your system is clean, in good repair, and able to achieve its manufactured-rated efficiency. If you act soon, you’ll be able to minimize the chance of being the 200th person in line for repairs on the coldest day of the year.   

In addition, if you have a fireplace, be sure to check for a clogged chimney. Not only is the buildup flammable, but it can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Make a yearly chimney inspection a top priority to ensure your safety. Also, make sure the fireplace is fully functional, so you don’t experience drafts when the fireplace isn’t in use.  

Prepare Your Pipes  

Freezing temperatures can cause serious problems for your pipes. A frozen pipe can crack, and once they thaw out, they can release hundreds of gallons of water in just a day. This can lead to severe damage to your furniture, let alone structural damage to your home. Protect yourself against a water shortage or, worse yet, a major flood by insulating them before winter. Not only will this help keep them from freezing, but it also helps your home’s hot water system work more efficiently, thus saving you serious cash throughout the year.   

Protect Your Patio Furniture  

You’ll likely be using your patio less during the chilly season, so why leave it out and exposed to the winter weather. We suggest moving all outdoor furniture and appliances (chairs, grills, outdoor décor, etc.) inside or into a storage unit. Don’t have extra space to store your outdoor equipment? No worries! You can also buy protective covers for your patio furniture. Both will help protect your outdoor investments from rain, snow, ice, debris, and moreultimately leaving your furniture clean for when you’re ready to use it again.  

As you can see, there are plenty of things to do before the harsh winter weather comes. By weatherproofing, checking, and performing preventative maintenance, you can ensure that the cold and wet stay outside. If you think it would be useful to have a professional perform maintenance checks on your plumbing, heating, and electrical systems, be sure to contact your apartment maintenance staff!