Getting ready for winter

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Checklists for your vehicle and home

Living in the Capital Region, we know all too well that winter can wreak havoc on our cars and homes and that once the snow starts flying, we could be in for a long run. Make sure that you are ready for anything Old Man Winter throws at you this season by following these tips.

For your Car

  • Check and change wiper blades
  • Fill your washer fluid tank
  • Check your tire treads, pressure and mount winter tires
  • Have brakes checked
  • Check your battery – consult your owners’ manual for the “How To” for your vehicle
  • Change your oil to the right viscosity per your owners’ manual guidelines for the cooler temps ahead
  • Check your radiator and heater hoses for cracks and brittleness
  • Have your cooling system flushed if you haven’t in a while
  • Lubricate locks with a door-lock lubricant to prevent freeze-ups and stock up with lock de-icer (at work, in your purse or backpack, and your home)
  • Pack your emergency kit
  • Let it warm up!
    If you are bringing your car to a trusted mechanic for winterization, make sure they check everything above AND belts, hoses, and spark plugs.

For your home

  • Bring in the outdoors: Bring in or cover plants, grills, patio furniture, and accessories
  • Shut off and disconnect exterior hoses and water supplies
  • Get out and check snowblowers, generators, and shovels
  • Keep a can of gas and extension cords ready to go in the garage
  • Stock up on ice melt and/or salt
  • Clean gutters and downspouts and check for any damage
  • Clean and cover exterior cooling condensers
  • Remove and store all window air conditioners
  • Check roof for damaged shingles and repair
  • Keep the cold out: Check doors and windows for drafts and use weather stripping or caulk to eliminate the problem
  • Check around outlets and switchplates for drafts and caulk
  • Replace filters in your furnace and schedule a seasonal inspection
  • Stock up on canned goods and bottled water
  • Schedule chimney cleaning and clean fireplace
  • Stock up on firewood or wood pellets
  • Schedule a fuel delivery for your heating system
  • Test out your thermostat
  • Clean your heating vents and make sure they are clear of any obstruction
  • Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms

—By Dani Testa – Sgueglia

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