Winter is fast approaching, and in many regions across the U.S. the temperature is quickly dropping. A number of homeowners find themselves wrapping up outdoor activities and moving everything inside.

Now is the perfect time for residents to prepare for the coldest months, when there isn't a whole lot to do outside. For many houses, there is a long list of improvements and fixes that have been neglected. A home inspection, especially before buying or selling a property, can help anyone identify where areas need extra attention.

Focus on the furnace

Few home components are as important as heat during the winter. Therefore, homeowners should always focus on getting these systems up and running before it gets too cold. 

Furnaces that are in regular use need their filters changed about once every three months, according to MSN Real Estate. It is simple and easy to complete, and any person can do it. Costs are also low, and the benefits of a well-functioning furnace are well worth it. 

For anyone unsure about the condition of their house, a property inspection is the perfect solution to answer any questions. 

Insulate water pipes

Another vital part of any home, especially during the winter, are the water pipes. Insulating them can limit heat loss, MSN Real Estate noted. That means each time the faucet is turned on the quicker the water comes out hot.

Pipe insulation is cheap to buy, and even innovative solutions - like newspaper - can get the job done. If there are still problems with any pipes, a home inspection professional could find the cause. 

Check for home safety

The winter is also the perfect time for homeowners to check over safety features, according to HouseLogic. Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors should have their batteries change once per year, and it is easy to remember if they are all done at the same time.

Additionally, ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets are required to be tested regularly, but few people do. The winter can be the best time to take care of any of these tasks. GFCI outlets need to trip and reset properly, and any faulty outlet must be replaced.

Homeowners may find themselves bored during the winter. Instead of staying trapped inside a house, there are a number of easy home repairs that anyone can do. A property inspection can also shed added light on a situation, hopefully catching any problems before they turn expensive.