10 Winter Cleaning Steps to Prepare Your Home for Colder Weather

Read time: 5 mins

As the winter season approaches, it's time to think about winter cleaning and getting your home prepared for the chilly months ahead. 

Whether you're bracing for heavy snowfalls, relentless rain, or biting winds that can characterize winter, there's a checklist of essential maintenance tasks to tackle to safeguard your home against the elements. 

Even if your residence is nestled in a region with milder winter weather, these winter cleaning and maintenance steps remain crucial for ensuring the comfort and longevity of your home. 

Embrace the colder weather with confidence by following our guide to winterize your space effectively:

What should I clean before winter?

As the leaves turn and the days shorten, a common question we hear is: "What should I clean before winter?" 

The months leading to winter is a crucial time for homeowners and renters to begin winter cleaning to ensure your living spaces are not just clean, but also well-prepared for the drop in temperature. This preparation is key to protecting your home from the harsh impacts of winter weather. 

In the following section, we'll walk through the 10 pivotal tasks you should prioritize in your winter cleaning routine. These are not mere cleaning tips—they are important measures to help maintain your home's safety and warmth throughout the season. 

1. Clean The Gutters

Undertaking winter cleaning for your gutters is a key preventative measure against the seasonal woes of ice buildup and potential water damage. Cleaning the gutters will prevent the water in your pipes from freezing which causes icicles and ice dams.

2. Flush The Water Heater

Having hot water is important in the winter, and you do not want to have a broken or inefficient water heater when you need it most. 

Particles and sediment buildup in the water heater over time, so it’s important to flush the water heater before the winter through the drain valve to  help keep your water heater in good shape for the winter.

3. Replace The Filters In Your HVAC System

It is generally recommended that you change the air filter in your home system every  one to three months. 

The frequency will depend largely on geographical location, time of year, and how often you make use of your home’s air conditioning or furnace systems. 

Don't overlook this step—consider it as much a part of your winter cleaning as dusting and decluttering, for it contributes significantly to the overall comfort and healthiness of your winter living space.

4. Use A Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat helps keep your home at a consistent temperature with little to no fluctuations. This helps reduce the energy output from your home. 

Studies have shown that using a programmable thermostat can reduce a home’s energy bill by 1% every month. Anticipate heavy usage from your home’s heating system in the winter and reduce the cost of energy for your home.

5. Invest In Draft Guards

Draft guards help prevent heat from escaping from the cracks or holes under the door making your home more efficient for heat retention.

Installing draft guards as part of your winter preparation can significantly improve your home's heat retention, offering both a practical and cost-effective method to keep those chilly drafts at bay and maintain a cozy atmosphere throughout the winter months. 

Integrating draft guards into your winter cleaning checklist is a smart move to bolster your home against the cold

6. Insulate The Windows With Film

Window insulation is a key component of winter cleaning that goes beyond aesthetics, directly impacting your home's thermal efficiency. 

Applying insulation film to your windows is a strategic step in winter cleaning that can retain up to 70% of your home's heat, which would otherwise be lost to the cold outside. 

7. Seal Leaks

Check your roof for loose shingles or gaps around the chimney, flues, and other openings. Be aware of areas around the windows, doors, and foundation. 

After identifying where the water might reside or where ice could form, address these problems. Caulk cracks or install weather stripping where appropriate.

8. Call A Plumber – Avoid Burst Pipes

If you live in colder climates, make sure that your plumbing is not vulnerable to freezing. 

Once your pipes freeze, they will eventually thaw and that may result in your pipes bursting. Pipes bursting can cause disasters that can result in water damage or mold. 

To winterize the plumbing, shut off the water supply to the outdoor spigots, swamp coolers, and sprinkler systems before draining them. 

9.  Change The Direction Of The Ceiling Fans 

If you have any ceiling fans inside your home, know the rules: Counter-clockwise rotation produces cool air while clockwise rotation causes warmer air. 

This is an often forgotten task on many people’s winter cleaning list and a great way to keep your house fresh in the winter, especially when getting your home guest-ready for the holidays. 

10. For Winter Cleaning Tips Never Go Without A Checklist

COIT Carpet Cleaning and Restoration knows a lot about cleaning, and over time we have created a large wealth of information on how to effectively clean your home. 

Winter cleaning needs to be tackled with precision and the steps to do it right needs to be well thought out, from maintaining your driveway during winter to insulating and sealing your interiors. COIT has created a nifty winter cleaning checklist to have the plan ready for you before you begin.

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