Tips on how to winterize your car & home

Tips on how to winterize your car & home

Since the cold weather has arrived, there are several things you can do to protect your vehicle:
Since the cold weather has arrived, there are several things you can do to protect your vehicle:

·    Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing
·    Battery and ignition system - should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean
·    Brakes - check for wear and fluid levels
·    Exhaust system - check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning
·    Fuel and air filters - replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing
·    Heater and defroster - ensure they work properly
·    Lights and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability
·    Oil - check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well
·    Thermostat - ensure it works properly
·    Windshield wiper equipment - repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level
·    Install good winter tires - Make sure the tires have adequate tread
·    Make sure you keep an emergency kit in your car that includes: shovel/windshield scraper and small broom/tow chain or rope; Flashlight/matches, battery powered radio/extra batteries; water/snack food/necessary medications; extra hats, socks and mittens/blankets; first aid kit with pocket knife; road salt and sand; booster cables; emergency flares

Winterize your home
·    Extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic
·    Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm
·    Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year
·    Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing
·    All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear
·    Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them
·    Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts
·    Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out
·    Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work


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