Home > Maintenance & Renovation > Winter Appliance Maintenance Checklist

Winter Appliance Maintenance Checklist

Updated Mar 13, 2023

Updated Mar 13, 2023

Home > Maintenance & Renovation > Winter Appliance Maintenance Checklist

The freezing winter brings more strain on appliances because of the sudden drop in temperature and cold air, often increasing our energy bills in the process. Therefore, maintaining your appliances can help you save money and prevent frustrating moments where your HVAC system suddenly goes out, and you’re left with no heat.

Follow this winter appliance maintenance checklist to prepare your home for winter and prevent unfortunate power outages, frozen pipes, and much more.

Clean Your Kitchen Appliances

Check to see if your oven has a self-clean function. If you’re unsure about this, check your owner’s manual. If it does, select the function and allow your oven time to clean itself.

Next, run baking soda or vinegar through your dishwasher. Put a cup of vinegar in a dishwasher-safe bowl on the bottom rack. Then, run the dishwasher on the hottest water cycle to reduce grime, odor, and residue buildup. When that is done, you can sprinkle about a third of a cup of baking soda along the edges of the dishwasher and run on another hot water cycle for additional cleaning and deodorizing.

After your dishwasher, you should check the filter above your stove. Clean or wash the exhaust filters above your stove, which can get clogged with dust and grease, rendering them less effective. Remove the filters, and clean them with hot water, vinegar, and baking soda if they’re the type of filters that can be cleaned. Otherwise, replace them with new filters.

Disconnect Garden and Drain Hoses

As the temperature drops, your garden and drain hoses are at a greater risk of water freezing inside them. Disconnect and drain these hoses now so they don’t get backed up with frozen water, which can also back up your internal plumbing system.

Drain Your Water Heater

Before the temperatures drop, drain your water heater to clear up sediment and debris that have built up over time.

Small pieces of debris and sediment may shorten the life of your water heater, and you certainly don’t want your water heater to give out in the middle of winter, leaving you with unheated, cold water. Drain it before the freezing temperatures arrive because your water heater will need to work much harder in winter, increasing the risk of the water heater breaking.

woman checking an electric water heater
Image Source: Canva

Protect Your Pipes

Burst pipes can cause a huge amount of water damage and are costly to fix. Avoid this hassle by checking your pipes for leaks. Assess how much insulation your pipes need to stay warm during winter to prevent freezing.

If your pipes are located in an area that lacks insulation or outside, install pipe sleeves or additional insulation to keep the pipes from freezing.

Inspect Your Fireplace

Many homeowners use their woodburning fireplaces to warm their homes during winter. However, a fireplace that is not well-maintained can be a safety hazard. Often, accidents involving fireplaces occur because the chimney is dirty or has improper ventilation, which can cause carbon monoxide and smoke inhalation.

During early winter, hire a professional chimney sweep to have your chimney thoroughly cleaned and creosote removed. A chimney sweep can also inspect your fireplace for any needed repairs and replace the furnace filters to keep your chimney running optimally.

Take a moment to test your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms to ensure that they’re working correctly so that you and your family will be alerted in the event of a fire.

Examine Your Attic

Ice dams form when warm air escapes from the attic, causing snow and ice to melt on your roof but then refreeze as it hits the edge of the roof. Unfortunately, ice dams can cause massive damage to your roof, shingles, siding, and gutters by weighing them down. Ice dams can also lead to leaks.

Ice dams even put additional strain on your heating system, which has to work overtime to warm your home as heat escapes and rises to the attic.

Inspect your attic for air leaks and fill these gaps with weather stripping or caulk to prevent warm air from escaping. If ice dams and icicles are a recurring problem, purchase a roof rake and regularly scrape snow off your roof to keep them from forming. Never scrape at the ice, as this can damage your roof.

Replace Heating System Filters

man changing furnace air filter
Image Source: Canva

Depending on the model, your heating system’s filters should be replaced twice a year to once a month. Replace these filters now to improve airflow and air quality in your home.

While you’re at it, check your dryer vent for lint by removing the vacuum hose around the lint collection. Then, remove the back hose and blow the lint out. If you’re unsure, contact an expert to have your dryer vent properly cleaned. This step helps your dryer operate efficiently and prevents fires.

Final Thoughts

We hope these winter home maintenance tips help you stay on top of your home appliances. Maintenance is always easier than significant home repairs or replacing the entire appliance after it breaks down prematurely.

Lastly, don’t forget to check your home warranty to see if any of these repairs, maintenance, or replacements are covered.

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