January 6, 2020

Your Winter Car and Home Maintenance Checklist

Winter is here. Many may ask, “Am I prepared for winter?” By now, your home and your car should be ready to brave the potential storms that January and February may bring. Don’t be caught off-guard — here’s what should be on your winter home maintenance checklist:

Your Home

Check your front doors and windows for drafts.

Your winter home maintenance checklist should include checking your front doors and windows for drafts. If you feel cold air blowing under your front door, install a draft guard or install an energy-efficient door made out of steel or fiberglass. This could save you money on your heat bill.

While you’re checking your doors, consider installing a storm door. It can seal drafts and help reduce airflow.

Inspect your furnace.

Hire a heating expert to inspect your furnace — preferable a NATE certified technician. The inspection should monitor carbon monoxide, clean the filter, motor and inspect the piping. Also, consider asking for an inspection of your heating ducts.

Conduct a roof check.

Your winter home maintenance checklist should include a roof check. Roofs endure a lot during the winter months, such as ice dams and water damage. Consult roofing professionals to determine if your roof can handle a major storm and to check for any leaks or other damage.

Prevent accidents and protect your assets.

Always have snow-melting materials on hand to prevent slip and fall accidents. If you have pets, check that the product is safe for animals.

Prevent freezing pipes.

Take necessary precautions to prevent freezing pipes, such as:

Your Car

Winter months can damage your car battery. During cold weather, the engine requires more current from the battery to start the vehicle. Ask a mechanic to inspect the battery and check for corrosion. While you’re visiting your mechanic, ask him or her to check your anti-freeze mixture. The mixture should be 50:50 anti-freeze and water to prevent the coolant from freezing.

Are you having a difficult time seeing through your windshield?

Your wipers may be to blame and you may need to purchase fluid with a lower temperature rating. Windshield wipers should be replaced every year and if your area faces major winter storms, you may need to purchase blades designed for winter weather.

Check your tire pressure.

Cold weather causes the air pressure in your tires to drop. Inflate your tires to the proper psi to ensure safe traction while driving through winter weather.

Always be prepared.

Your car should be packed with supplies, such as a fully charged cell phone or battery, jumper cables, flashlight, roadside flares, blankets, ponchos, an ice scraper, first-aid kit and non-perishable food items, such as protein bars, nuts, and granola.

Already thinking about spring (yay, warm weather!) Here’s a spring home maintenance checklist to get yourself, your home and your vehicle ahead of schedule.

This summary is for general informational use only and may not include all relevant information.