Home Inspector Tips for Winterizing your Home

By Stephanie from The Realty Deal and Allan from ACISS

Taps & hoses

Garden hoses must be removed and the water supply valve inside the house shut off. There may not be an interior shut off if your hose bib is a frost free type.
Once you shut off the interior valve you need to open the exterior handle and the small drain knob on the shut off, that will allow any water trapped in the pipe to drain. Don’t forget to put a cup under the valve when you open the small drain knob.

Furnace & humidifier

You need to change filters every 3 months unless you have the 4 or 5 inch wide filters that are good for 1 year. Remember there is an arrow on the filter, the arrow always points toward the furnace.
Now is a good time to open the cover on the furnace to see if there is any moisture or rust on the inside. If there is call a technician to service and fix the leak.
Flow through humidifiers have an evaporator pad that the water runs down and the air blows through, the pad should be replaced once a year. Also remember to open the damper on the humidifier so the air will blow through and open the water valve too.

Gutters & window wells

Clean your gutters and window wells from all the leaves. if the snow melts and the water can not drain the gutter will fill and freeze and possibly fall away from the facia boards. The gravel inside the window wells should always be at least 4 inches from the bottom of the window incase the ground freezes and then if it rains the water could rise above the bottom of the window.

Air Conditioner

Never run your air conditioner when it is below 15 degrees celsius, you could damage the unit. Now is the time to turn off the breaker. If you have a cover then you can install the cover. In the spring the breaker must be on for 24 hours before you run the AC unit.


If you have a wood burning fireplace you should get a chimney sweep to clean it, check the flue, smoke chamber, damper and chimney cap.

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