Critical November Home Maintenance Items

With November upon us, in many parts of the United States, homeowners have a critical window of opportunity to get their homes prepared for the colder winter months ahead.  And while working on your home can so easily take a back seat to enjoying a college football game on a Saturday afternoon, these few items can be achieved quickly, but can make a big impact how comfortable your home stays this winter.

1. Check and seal drafts. An easy test to find drafts in your home is to use a “smoke test”.  Using a stick of incense, trace around the inside of your doors and windows to see if and where a draft blows the smoke into your home.  As you locate cracks, gaps and other points of air infiltration, mark them with painter’s tape or a small pencil mark.  Then you can focus on reinforcing the seals and weatherstripping around these problem areas.

2. Schedule an HVAC checkup. The switch over from warm weather to cool weather represents a pretty significant change in how your home’s heating and air conditioning systems function.  Before you get deep in to winter and have a major issue, schedule a routine check of your systems to ensure they are ready to perform through the colder months.  Many HVAC contractors will offer annual maintenance programs that include both summer and winter checkups for one annual fee.  I can assure you that the annual fee for AC or furnace maintenance will be far less than the cost of a service call or worse, a replacement system.

3. Reschedule your programmable thermostat. You do have a programmable thermostat, right?  With the switch to heating mode, it is important to review and reset your daily program to make sure that you are not over- or under-heating your home, especially during times when you are at work or otherwise out of the house.

4. Store away hoses and tuck in faucets. Outside water spigots are highly susceptible to freezing when not prepared.  Many homes (particularly in Northern climates) are equipped with specific shut-off valves just for the exterior spigot.  Also, adding pipe insulation and insulated covers will help prevent freezing.

A few hours spent in this fall on maintenance will help your home to stay warm and comfortable through the winter.  As with all home maintenance items, your HomeSpot HQ account can help you keep track of your completed maintenance tasks, and remind you of what is upcoming.

Need helpful maintenance reminders?

Derek Smith

Derek is the co-founder of HomeSpot HQ, and uses it to manage the seemingly never-ending list of projects and maintenance tasks around his suburban home.