Winter is coming. Whether you love everything related to fresh snowfalls and chilly air, or you plan simply to hibernate until spring arrives, it’s time to start checking a few winter maintenance tasks off your list. Try to complete the following tasks before truly icy temperatures start to set in.
Prep Your Garden for Cold Weather
You probably won’t be doing any gardening in the winter. But if you want your plants and soil to be ready in the spring, it’s important to put a few protections in place. Prune fruit trees, bushes, and perennials. Add stakes or ties to tall plants that need added support over the winter months. Remove invasive weeds and rotting or diseased plants. Finally, cover plants and apply mulch, wood chips, or straw over flower beds.
Get Your Car Ready for Ice and Snow
Image via Flickr by Janitors
Winter is the toughest season for cars, especially if you live somewhere that gets heavy snowfall. As winter approaches, it’s smart to take a few steps to get your car ready for the rough weather ahead. Put on your winter tires; if you don’t have a set specifically for winter driving, consider getting a set. Check your tire pressure, since it often changes as the temperature fluctuates. Replace your wiper blades and make sure the windshield washer fluid tank is full.
Consider going in for a tuneup before winter arrives. Make sure the mechanics check the antifreeze levels and the condition of your battery and brakes. Have the muffler and tailpipe inspected for potential issues to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide leaks. You can also request a prewinter diagnostic check on your engine.
Winterize Your Home
One of the most important things to do to prepare your home for winter is to schedule HVAC maintenance before temperatures drop too low. An HVAC professional can inspect your whole system to make sure it’s in good condition and address any potential issues. In addition to avoiding an unexpected heat outage, a maintenance visit can also help you enjoy lower energy bills over the winter months. During the visit, they’ll check to make sure your system is working as efficiently as possible, which helps to lower your heating costs.
There are a number of other things you can do to winterize your home, including:
- Drain your water heater to remove built-up sediment.
- Disconnect garden hoses and cover exterior pipes with insulated sleeves.
- Hire a chimney sweep and move flammable items away from your fireplace.
- Consider upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat.
- Put up storm windows and doors.
- Switch ceiling fans to move clockwise.
- Seal cracks around doors and windows.
- Drain and turn off your sprinkler system.
- Clean the gutters.
- Inspect the roof and remove any debris.
- Add more insulation.
- Direct any drainage away from your home.
- Clean and store your lawn mower, and make sure your snowblower is working properly.
As winter approaches, start checking these tasks off your to-do list. By the time the first snow falls, your garden, your car, and your home will all be ready to go.