HomeAdvisor’s Tips to Prep Homes for Winter Season

A few months ago I blogged about HomeAdvisor’s Home911 App and how the website connects homeowners with pre-screened service professionals. Now as we go into winter time, HomeAdvisor’s Home Improvement Expert and DIY Network star Amy Matthews offers these useful tips to help homeowners/apt owners prepare their homes for the holiday and winter season.

HomeAdvisor and Amy Matthews Tips to Prepare Homes for Winter

Kitchen Appliances

According to HomeAdvisor, the most frequent home emergency repair in 2012 has been for appliance repairs. Avoid having an emergency situation during a big family feast by thoroughly cleaning your oven and grill and keeping kitchen appliances in tip-top shape. If the oven isn’t cleaned properly, homeowners risk the chance of filling their house with smoke and ruining their meal. A professional can inspect top trouble areas and provide insights on repairs or replacements.

Garbage Disposals

Matthews advises that homeowners avoid garbage disposal repairs by never placing coffee grounds, grease, eggshells, bones or potato skins in the disposal. It is also important that homeowners do not overfill their garbage disposal or use chemical drain cleaners to unclog it. It is unlikely that chemical cleaners will work completely and they leave the sink full of toxic liquids.

Chimney and Fireplace

A crackling fire is charming during the holidays, but dirty chimneys can be extremely dangerous and can cause a fire in the home. A professional should inspect the fireplace to ensure the chimney is clean before lighting the first fire of the season. A money saving tip is to install a glass fireplace enclosure on the opening to reduce the amount of hot air that gets sucked out of the house.


Keeping a clean filter in the furnace through the winter is essential to maximizing its efficiency. Dirty filters make the furnace work harder and may even damage it. It is also best to hire a professional on an annual basis to install proper filters, vacuum the unit, and recommend appropriate upgrades. Annual maintenance on a furnace can increase its life expectancy by up to four years.


Dead and dying tree branches can be a danger to people and power lines. Keep your home safe and prevent power outages this season by hiring a professional to prune branches and limbs close to your home.

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