Ready or not, here it comes! Review the helpful checklists below from Farm Bureau Insurance and make sure you are prepared for the change in seasons. There is nothing worse than being stuck in the cold. Take these preventative measures to ensure a smooth transition to winter.
- Vents – open vents near the floor but close those near the ceiling for better circulation
- Furnace – test your furnace and replace the filters. Consider having a heating and cooling professional come for a furnace check-up.
- Solid Fuel – use safely and make sure stoves are UL approved and fireplaces are well maintained and cleaned.
- Insulation – Ensure attic insulation doesn’t cover ventilation vents in the eaves (soffits, overhangs). This helps prevent winter ice dams.
- Debris – Ensure vents, eaves and troughs are free of plants and debris.
Windows and Doors:
- Storm Windows – if you have storm windows, be sure to install them for the winter.
- Window Locks/Latches – inspect window locks and latches and repair/replace any that are broken.
- Caulk – be sure to caulk around door/window frames
- Window Panes – be sure to repair any cracked or broken window panes.
- Gutters – keep gutters clean at all times
- Roof – if there are any signs of a leak or damaged shingles or flashing, have the roof checked. Make sure all culverts and exterior drains are free of debris.
- Garden Hoses – be sure to drain and coil all garden hoses.
- Shovel/Snow Blower – be sure you have your shovels on hand, snow blowers in working order and have some sidewalk salt on hand.
Keep it Clean:
- Refrigerator/Freezer – be sure to vacuum under and behind the freezer and refrigerator. This can greatly improve the efficiency of the unit.
- Chimney – be sure the chimney is clean. This increases ventilation and reduces fire hazards.
- Branches – trim low hanging branches because snow and ice build-up can break the branches and damage your roof, home, pedestrians, etc.
These auto tips increase safety and decrease the chances of a breakdown.
- Battery – charge your battery and charging system. Change or replace the battery as needed.
- Coolant – replace and replenish anti-freeze in the cooling systems. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
- Heaters/Wipers/Defrosters – ensure all work effectively. Consider using winter wiper blades and cold weather washer fluid.
- Tires – is there enough tread on your tires? Are they properly inflated? Consider winter tires that provide more grip on icy roads.
- Oil – change the oil according to your car’s maintenance schedule. This is one of the simplest and best ways to maintain and prolong the life of your vehicle.
- Tune Up – When was the last time your car had a tune-up? Simple fixes like pings, hard starts, and sluggish performance can often become magnified problems during the winter months.
- Brakes – have your brakes checked to be sure they are in good working order.
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash