Have your heating and air conditioning equipment checked by a qualified contractor every year. Heat check should be done in early Autumn and A/C check should be done in the Spring. This can help keep you comfortable, help the unit(s) run as efficiently as possible, and improve the chances of the equipment serving for its intended life expectancy.
Flush your water heater annually if it is less than five years of age. This keeps the sediment build up in the bottom of the tank to a minimum and helps to extend the service life of the appliance. Flushing an older water heater is not recommended as sediment may be protecting a weakened area of the tank and sediment removal may cause leakage.
Check with the manufacturer of your water heater for instructions on draining/flushing the tank properly. For generalized instructions, here is a website to reference:
Cold winter weather can cause the water in the hose faucet pipe to freeze which can lead to burst pipes and potential for extensive water damage to your house. It is easy to minimize this risk by winterizing the exterior hose faucets.
Below is a website with simple instructions on how to perform this important procedure: