Leaves in gutter

The winter season officially begins on December 21—less than three months from now. Those colder temperatures and snowy days will soon arrive, and before they do, it’s important to think about winter house prep.

Top Winter House Prep Priorities

If it seems like many of your household chores are seasonal, it’s because they are! Seasonal chores make it easier to keep track of when certain things need to be done. Before winter hits, there are several items that every homeowner should address. These include but are not limited to:

  • Inspection of the HVAC (heating and cooling systems)
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Check your home’s drainage
  • Prepare the lawn/landscaping for cold weather
  • Have the fireplace cleaned (if applicable)

HVAC Systems

Even if your air conditioning is still running on the warmer fall days, it’s not too early to test the heating for the upcoming cooler months. Switch the air off and turn the heat on, if only for a few minutes to make sure it kicks in and all the vents in your home are blowing warm air.

You may also want to have a licensed HVAC professional inspect the unit to make sure everything is in top shape. It’s easier to have repairs done now than when the temperatures have plummeted. Don’t forget to change the air filter as well and keep the area around the unit free and clear of boxes and other items.


A mature tree has thousands of leaves, and in the fall, that means leaves on the lawn and also in your home’s gutters. Winter home prep should always include gutter cleaning. Leaves, twigs, and other debris naturally land in the gutters. If left, the gutters become clogged, which can create serious issues for your home. These include:

  • Landscape erosion
  • Water seepages into basements, crawl spaces, and the attic
  • Water damage around windows
  • Ice dam formation when the temperatures drop

It’s essential to have your gutters cleaned by professionals to avoid damage and to save yourself time. Pros like the teams at United Window Cleaning get the job done right the first time, safely, and with the proper equipment.


Early fall is the ideal time to inspect the soil around the foundation of your home. It can settle, and if it has, water can collect and pool, creating issues. Saturated soil can cause seepage into the basement or crawlspace. It can also cause cracks in the foundation when the ground freezes and thaws during the cold months. 

Low spots? Simply add some soil. Don’t forget to make sure your gutter’s downspouts are angled down and away from the foundation as well.

Lawn and Landscaping

Prep for winter by mowing one last time, raking leaves, and collecting any fallen sticks and branches. A few leaves on the ground during the winter is fine, but avoid a thick blanket of natural debris. Too much coverage can deprive your lawn of needed sunlight. Cool-season grasses, like Kentucky bluegrass, need sunlight in the colder weather in order to remain strong and healthy.

Winter prep outdoors also includes covering any plants that won’t weather the cold, trimming plants that need it (not all are trimmed in the fall), and planting bulbs like crocus, daffodils, and freesia if you’re adding these to the landscape. Don’t forget to drain all hoses and rain barrels, and move them to indoor storage (if possible) for the winter.


If your home has a wood-burning fireplace, now is the time to schedule an appointment with a certified chimney sweep. It’s essential to have the fireplace and chimney inspected by a professional every year for safety reasons. Winter prep also should include ordering firewood or making arrangements to have access to firewood as the season approaches.

Winter will be here before we know it, so don’t delay preparing your home and property. Start by making your appointment for gutter cleaning and contact us today!