The cold, moisture, ice and snow that comes each year with the winter season can take its toll on your home. It’s important to take a proactive role in routine maintenance chores to prevent major problems down the road.  Here are some checks that you should be doing to ensure that all the ‘working parts’ of your home survive the season.

• February is a good time to check your furnace again. Hopefully you had your heating system checked by a qualified professional last fall, so take a look at your filter and ensure that it doesn’t need to be cleaned or replaced after the frosty winter we’ve had.

• Examine windows and doors for ice or cold air leaks. If found, make a note to repair or replace in the spring.

• Examine your home for excessive moisture. A little foggy patch on the corners of your windows is ok – your entire window blocked by fog or water dripping from the windows onto your woodwork is NOT. For tips to reduce moisture in your home, visit the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation website at

• If you haven’t done so already, maximize hot air in your home by reversing your ceiling fans so that the blades run in a clockwise direction. Energy Star recommends this tip to help push the hot air down into the room.

• Vacuum and wipe down the vents in your home – don’t forget the cold air returns.

• Do a quick walk around your home and clear any large snow piles close to your foundation.

• Ensure that your downspouts are all flowing properly – this is very important when that spring thaw occurs.

• When taking down Christmas lights, spend an extra few minutes clearing the gutters of any debris.

By taking the time now to stay on top of home maintenance, your home’s systems will last longer.