Cooler, drier weather is approaching as the seasons change. This is the perfect time to start preparing your home for winter. You may think with our milder climate there isn’t much to do, but even here, some winter maintenance will help keep your home energy efficient and comfortable year-round. Use these few tips and ideas to help you prepare for the change in the weather.


Colder weather equals turning on the heat, and each heat system takes a different approach. If you have heaters or furnaces, have them maintained by a professional if needed. Don’t forget though, there are some things you can do yourself, such as cleaning the air intakes and any vents. This will help make your unit perform at its peak, and can lower your heating costs.

If you have a wood stove or fireplace, clean it inside and out. Replace old gasketing, the rope on the doors, and inspect the inside for any visible damage. Sweep your chimney and check the flue to ensure it is working properly. Seasonal maintenance of your stove will help it heat your home safely. You will also find you need less wood or pellets this way. This is also another area where hiring a professional to check and clean may be worth the investment.

The Exterior

Look over your roof and clean it off. Branches, leaves, and other things may damage shingles. Sweep them off and repair any damage found, or hire a professional to help. Remember safety first around the house. Inspect your gutters as well. Empty them of anything blocking the flow of water, and replace any damaged pieces. Check your siding and trim for issues, and repair or repaint as needed. This will keep your home looking pristine and help prevent future problems.

Plumbing is particularly susceptible to cold. This is important to keep in mind, as we do have the occasional cold snap in this part of the state. Wrap insulation around any exposed exterior piping to keep from freezing; this can also help lower heating costs. During a cold spell, run a small drip on your outside faucets to keep the water flowing, or close off your exterior plumbing and run the water out of it to prevent freezing.

Windows and Doors

Inspect your windows and doors for air leaks. Hold a candle close to the window, or door, and watch the flame to see if it moves. Movement indicates there is a leak. Follow the direction of the movement to determine where the leak may be, and see if a seal needs to be replaced. For windows, also check for any cracks in the glass.

Even here, winter weather brings its challenges, but you can still keep your home looking great and feeling warm during the colder months. For more information, check out the Texas Department of Public Safety. When the time is right to buy a home or sell your property, you can rely on REALTY TEXAS LCA, Inc. We’re here to help you with all your real estate needs! Call me, Laura Austin, at (281) 789-2911 or (936) 321-2977, or email me at You can also visit me at my website for available listings and additional information.