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Your Must-Have Winter Prep Checklist

Fairfax Tenant Mowing the Lawn in FallThe weather is already beginning to get cooler; this is a sign that winter is just around the corner. With the different events and tasks that come with a change in season, the preparation of your home for winter occurs as well. Seasonal maintenance is something that will always be a part of every Fairfax rental home; especially if you want to make sure the living conditions are always good. Get ready for the new season by preparing for it before it even arrives. While some winterization tasks are best left to your landlord or a professional, you can accomplish a few objectives to ensure that your home is ready for the cold temperature.

Cooling System

Once temperatures have dropped enough that your air conditioner is no longer needed, it’s time to winterize it for the season. Do this and you essentially protect and improve your unit, making sure it maintains its performance. Prepping an AC unit for winter is easy: clean off the condensing unit with a spray of water, let dry, and then cover the unit with a breathable, waterproof cover. If you have window units, make sure you shut all your vents and cover them.

Heating System

With winter approaching, it’s important to fire up your furnace for a test run long before you need it. Simply turn it on so that you can check if it’s still in good working condition. Also, be sure to replace your air filters, clean and open all heating vents, and check for any obstructions. If there are any issues you notice, inform your landlord ASAP.


If your rental home has a fireplace, it’s possible that you might need to prepare it before you use it. Like checking if the chimney has been cleaned. If the chimney is not clean, inform your landlord. This way, you can request a cleaning to be scheduled. This is even more important if you think that birds, mice, squirrels, or other animals have made a nest inside. Then, remove any flammable objects from around the fireplace opening and check that the damper is working properly.


It is not at all uncommon to have to be careful with frozen water pipes when the weather is freezing. To help keep your home’s pipes from freezing, take steps before cold temperatures arrive. Check the basement, crawlspace, attic, or exterior for exposed pipes. Then, wrap any pipes with foam insulating sleeves. As needed, exterior faucets, hoses, and sprinkler systems should be drained, disconnected, and covered. These might be basic steps, but they can ensure the proper function of your plumbing throughout the winter.

Windows & Doors

A few things to look out for when temperatures drop low are drafts and air leaks. If you want to handle them before they become major problems, make sure to check your home’s doors and windows for gaps, cracks, and air leaks. Generally, air leaks around doors and windows can be fixed with some caulk or weather stripping. But if the air leaks don’t have a clear source, it might be time to contact your landlord to have it looked at by a professional.

Yard & Patio

Finally, your yard, patio, or deck needs to be prepared for winter, too. Autumn is a fantastic time to trim back trees and shrubs, clean up fallen leaves, and mow the lawn one last time. Also, don’t forget to cover and store grills, patio furniture, cushions, hammocks, and other warm-weather furnishings. Don’t let snow or cold weather damage your outdoor furnishings – preserve their condition by taking good care of them.


It can get a bit exhausting to get your home ready for winter. But, once the cold temperatures arrive, it would have been well worth all the effort put in. But if the winters in your current rental home are too much, maybe it’s time to consider moving. Check out the available rental listings that Real Property Management SonoMarin has to offer.

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