Preparing Your Home For Winter

Follow along with Mike Holmes' winter maintenance checklist around your home and you'll be ready to put your feet up and take it easy when old man winter arrives for real.

Mike Holmes shares his tips for preparing your home for winter.
Mike Holmes shares his tips for preparing your home for winter.

Mike Holmes’ Official Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

Winter is the season that will certainly put your home to the test, which is why you want to be prepared and continue to follow through with your home maintenance each season. You will start to notice that the home maintenance projects that you completed throughout the year will pay off this season. All you have to do is keep it up.

Just like I do each season, I like to keep a home maintenance checklist handy, so I feel better prepared when starting a new season. It puts my mind at ease knowing things have been taken care of and addressed.

Use this winter maintenance checklist to get your home in tip-top shape for those cold winter months.


  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors (change batteries if needed)
  • Test and dust all detectors
  • Check fire extinguishers – this should be done monthly
  • Check your emergency supplies in your home and in your vehicle(s) – this includes checking batteries in your flashlights


  • Replace furnace filter
  • Check furnace before cold season; schedule repairs if needed (if haven’t already done so)
  • Clean dryer vents
  • Have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected
  • Schedule a maintenance and/or energy efficiency inspection (if haven’t already done so)
  • Test your sump pump
  • Reverse your ceiling fans to run clockwise


  • Test kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans
  • Clean kitchen exhaust hood and filter
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils
  • Protect your floors by placing a floor or entrance mat both inside and outside each entrance of your home. This will not only protect the longevity of your floors it will prevent slips and falls too.
  • Install weather stripping on windows (if haven’t already done so)


  • Check foundation for cracks and leaks - have cracks sealed and address any leaks
  • Install or maintain weather stripping on exterior doors
  • Inspect exterior caulking for shrinkage or cracking—re-caulk as needed
  • Clean gutters and eavestroughs and remove any debris and fallen leaves
  • Protect your A/C unit (if you have central A/C)
  • Inspect your outdoor lighting
  • Make sure your snow shovels and snow blower are in working order and are accessible for when you need them


  • Check your attic for signs of moisture, like water stains and mould or frost build up on the inside of your sheathing
  • Clear any debris from your roof