Make Fall the Time to Prepare for Cold Temps

Snow at Morgan Hall
The time to prepare your home for winter is before the snow arrives! Image courtesy of UTIA.
Is your home ready for winter? Are you? According to Martha Keel, environmental health and housing specialist with University of Tennessee Extension, fall is the perfect time to get ready for winter. Good home maintenance is essential to protect your investment, prevent costly damage during the winter and keep your home safe and healthy.

While fall is all about the beautiful leaves, bonfires and heading outside to enjoy the crisp weather, it should also be about making sure you and your home are ready for winter. The checklist below will help you ensure home winter readiness.

Home Safety

- Check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. More than 70 percent of the fatal structure fires in Tennessee occur where there is no working smoke alarm. 

- Check chimneys and flues to make sure they are clean and operating properly

Home Maintenance

- Repair any broken or cracked glass in your windows so that heat does not escape in cold months

- Clean and tune furnaces, boilers and hot water heaters, checking for leaks or sweating

- Check your attic's insulation, ensuring it is in place

- consider installing applicance timers to cut your winter energy costs

- Clean gutters and downspouts

- Drain outdoor faucets and hoses

Car Safety

- Add a blanket or sleeping bag to your car's emergency kit, along with extra hats, socks and gloves

- Purchase a windshield scraper for frosty mornings, or keep it in the trunk if you own one already


For more information about healthy choices for your family, visit the UT Extension Family and Consumer Sciences You may also contact your local county UT Extension Office. Ask for the Family and Consumer Sciences agent. In addition, UT Extension is a member of the Extension Healthy Homes Partnership. More information about healthy homes is available at

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.



Martha Keel, professor and environmental health and housing specialist, UT Extension, 865-974-8197,​​