Nine essential tasks to do now to prepare your home for winter

As the leaves begin to turn and the air grows crisp, autumn heralds a time for change, not just in nature but within our homes as well. This season is the ideal opportunity to prepare your home for the cooler months ahead. 

By taking care of essential tasks now, you can ensure your home remains comfortable, safe, and efficient throughout the season. Here are nine home maintenance tasks to tackle this autumn.

1. Check and prepare your heating system

With temperatures dropping, your heating system becomes the star of the show. Before the cold sets in, schedule a professional inspection of your heating system to ensure it’s working safely and efficiently. This includes gas heaters and reverse-cycle units. If you have an evaporative cooler, get a professional to empty out stale water and shut off the electricity and water supply.

Remember to check the filters and clean or change them if needed to improve efficiency.

2. Seal windows and doors

Prevent chilly drafts from sneaking into your home by inspecting and sealing gaps around windows and doors. Use weather stripping or caulking to seal any leaks, helping to keep warm air in and cold air out. Not only does this enhance comfort, but it also reduces energy costs by improving insulation.

3. Clean gutters and downpipes

Autumn brings falling leaves, which can quickly clog gutters and downpipes. Prevent water damage to your home by clearing out debris and ensuring proper drainage. Regular gutter maintenance helps prevent water build-up and potential issues such as roof leaks and foundation damage.

If you’re not comfortable on a ladder, consider hiring a professional to do a thorough clean and inspect for any necessary repairs.

4. Get pruning

Overgrown trees and shrubs can contribute to the gutter debris problem and pose a risk to your home during storms. Prune back any dead or diseased branches to maintain the health of your plants and prevent them from encroaching on your home.

5. Prepare outdoor spaces

As the outdoor entertaining season winds down, it’s time to prepare your outdoor spaces for autumn and winter. Clean and store outdoor furniture, drain and store garden hoses. Consider planting autumn flowers or adding seasonal decor to keep your outdoor spaces inviting.

6. Check outside lighting

With the days getting shorter, ensure your outdoor lighting is in working order. Replace any blown bulbs and address any electrical issues with the help of a licensed electrician.

7. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

With more time spent indoors and increased use of heating systems and fireplaces, autumn is an ideal time to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries if needed and ensure that detectors are functioning correctly to protect your family from potential hazards.

Pay attention to warning signs that indicate your smoke alarm may be faulty or ageing. These signs include frequent false alarms, chirping noises even after replacing batteries, yellowing or discolouration of the alarm casing, and visible dust or debris accumulation in the sensor chamber.

8. Schedule lawn and garden maintenance

Prepare your lawn and garden for the cooler months ahead by aerating, fertilising, and overseeding your lawn. Trim back overgrown shrubs and trees, and clear away any debris to prevent pests and disease. Autumn is also an excellent time for planting bulbs and preparing garden beds for spring.

9. Check for loose roof tiles

Don’t wait for heavy rain to find out your roof isn’t watertight. Inspect your roof for loose or damaged tiles that could lead to leaks. Autumn is the perfect time to call in an expert to assess and repair any issues.

By taking the time to perform these maintenance tasks, you can enjoy the autumn season knowing your home is prepared for whatever weather the winter may bring. 

Remember, while some tasks can be done as a DIY project, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals for more complex or risky jobs. 

Have you completed your autumn home maintenance checklist? Do you have any tips or stories to share about preparing your home for winter? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Also read: Easy home maintenance chores to help avoid insurance claims

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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