Well, for me it's easier to ferment at cooler temps in the winter due to the overall house temperature. Most ale yeasts are said to have their best flavors <70F which is my ambient house temp in the winter, so no extra work required.
On fermentations, I agree with the above. I always make a starter which proves my yeast is viable thereby removing that variable from the equation. Also, watching for signs of fermentation is more reliable than watching the airlock.