Fall is well underway, and even if we experience a milder winter, it’s smart to prepare well. Time to check on all the gear we’ll need to face the cold, and to care for seasonal items.
(1) Properly store the lawn mower. If you cannot locate your mower’s manual, look it up online. This can help insure it starts up and runs smoothly next year, and stays out of the repair shop.
(2) Take care of your gas can. If you have a mower that uses pure gasoline, empty it into your vehicle’s gas tank. If your machine takes a mixture, see if it matches the needs of your snow blower. (If you have one.)
(3) Get out the snow blower and/or shovels. Don’t wait until the first big snow to check your equipment. Be sure your snow blower starts. Buy the fuel (and possibly oil) it needs and have it at the ready. Look over shovels for corrosion and durability. If you need to repair or replace anything, you have time to shop for a good price. If your snow blower won’t start, consult the manual and the internet before hauling it in for repair. It could be something simple you can fix yourself.
(4) Examine winter wear. Check for proper fit on family members and for any needed repairs. If a piece is only torn (such as snow pants), get out the handy needle and nylon thread. Easy repairs cost pennies. Replace items too worn to repair or too small for warmth. Take items in good condition to charities for ‘warm wear share’ drives.
(5) Change the furnace filter to increases efficiency and savings.
(6) Clear away obstacles in the garage, along walkways and in entry ways. Getting out and moving things around is less and less appealing the colder it gets. But items not designed for winter will get ruined. And needing to maneuver around too many items in slippery conditions is dangerous.
(7) Shop for sidewalk salt at a bargain. Ice is often the first thing to form after the rainy season. Salting from the beginning will help keep ice from building up on sidewalks and steps, saving you labor and making things safer.
(8) Test smoke alarms and change the batteries. The value of working smoke alarms is, in a word, incalculable.
Taking care of things ahead and in the proper manner saves money both now and next year. Going into the holidays, who doesn’t need to save more money?
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