The winter months will be here before you know it and taking some time to Winter prep your home and car now will make your life a lot easier once they’re here.

Water Heater:

Start with your water heater. If it is warm to the touch, an insulation blanket—which you can find at your local Brinkmann’s—will help keep the heat from being wasted. You may also want to turn the temperature down to save your skin and make your heater more energy efficient. The water line too, should be insulated to keep it from getting too cold in the winter. Any lines that run through crawl spaces should be properly insulated with pipe insulation. This will prevent leaks and bursting in the cold temperatures winter brings. Check your home for air leaks around water pipes, such as under sinks, which can cause them to burst in very cold weather.

Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors, also available at Brinkmann’s, are imperative to have in your home. Test them and replace the batteries before the winter months. When heaters with blocked vents from ice and snow can cause carbon monoxide build-up or a fire. Remember, holiday decorations can and do cause fires, so always check for frayed wires. If you have a real Christmas Tree be sure to keep it watered so it’s less likely to catch fire.

Car Winter Prep:

Readiness for cold weather isn’t limited to your home. Your car should also be made ready for winter. Keeping cat litter in your truck is a good idea to help provide traction should you get stuck on ice. Plain clay litter scattered on ice will allow your tires to grip better in winter storms. Monitoring and keeping up on your tire pressure is also important for traction. Remember that as temperatures drop your tire pressure often does too. Refill your tires when necessary to keep yourself safe when driving in the colder winter months. 

Pouring a fuel antifreeze in your gas tank to keep your fuel line from freezing in extreme temperatures is also a good idea, in addition to the antifreeze you’re used to using in the radiator.

Storm Kit:

Finally, make sure that you have a winter storm kit including a cell phone charger, a flashlight, road flares, snacks in your car, as well as a blanket in case you find yourself stuck in a storm. 

A little advanced winter prep work will keep you and your family safe over the winter, whether you’re at home or on the road. So take the time to prepare and have a safe winter season!