Cold weather is just around the corner and there is plenty to do to get ready.
• Check your antifreeze.
• Prepare an emergency kit that contains a flashlight, jumper cables, tire chains and tools. Throw in a bag of sand or kitty litter. The extra weight can help with traction.
• Check your battery.
• Replace windshield wipers.
• Keep your tires at the proper pressure.
• Try to keep your gas tank at least half full, this helps to keep gas lines from freezing.
• Seal all windows, exterior doors and garages with weatherstripping.
• Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans.
• Replace single-paned windows with newer energy efficient windows.
• Insulate attics with a product that has an R-value between 20 and 30.
• Install a programmable thermostat that can vary a homes temperature throughout the day.
• Gravitate from electrical heat to natural gas or propane; it can save you thousands.
• Seal concrete in garages, driveways and porches.
• Avoid running humidifiers at full capacity as the moisture can cause mold to contaminate ductwork.
• Put foam insulation on pipes in basements.
• Drain swamp coolers.
• Check all vents for animal nests or other blockages.
• Avoid the accumulation of ice dams around your roof.
• Keep portable space heaters at least 3 feet away from combustibles and turn them off when you go to sleep or leave.
• Beware of falling, tumbling off ladders putting up holiday decorations or slipping on unmaintained outdoor paths.
Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is a master gardener.