Brace yourself— winter is coming! Well, technically, winter weather is already here for a lot of folks, even though the first official day of winter isn’t until December 21. Game of Thrones references aside, the end of fall is the best time to start winterizing. If your home is feeling more and more like an igloo, and your car is a vehicle fit for Jack Frost—or even if you’re just preparing for these unpleasant conditions—read our quick winterizing checklist.
Winterize Your Car
Oil Weight in Winter vs. Summer
You may have heard that you need to switch to a “lightweight” oil in the winter… but that’s old news. According to Popular Mechanics, the invention of multi-viscosity oil (which adapts to flow optimally in all temperatures) means you can use the same type of oil year-round! You’ll still need to change it as often as your owner’s manual says to, but you can keep buying your preferred type of oil in both summer and winter.
Put Together an Emergency Kit
If you haven’t already, put together an emergency kit to keep in the trunk of your car. You never know when you might have trouble on the road. Gather items for an emergency kit so you are ready for almost any unexpected event, like a breakdown or getting stuck in the mud, snow, or ice. An emergency kit could also come in handy if you stop to help a stranded motorist.
Have a Back-Up Plan
Getting roadside assistance can help ensure that help will be on its way in the event of a roadside emergency. Have the phone number of your chosen program readily available, either saved in your cell phone contacts or written down and stashed in your glove compartment. Before a car accident or roadside problem occurs, however, you should also get affordable car insurance so that you’re better prepared to financially handle the aftermath of a car accident or even a collision with wildlife.
Visibility Is Vital
When bad winter weather hits, visibility is especially important. The Car Care Council reports that 90% of driving decisions depend on good vision, so include an ice scraper and/or windshield de-icer spray in your emergency kit, and review the basics of safe driving for visibility. If it’s time to replace your windshield wipers, check out our DIY Car Care Tips for help.
Get up to Speed on Safe Driving in Bad Weather
You may have won the award for World’s Most Cautious Driver in regular driving conditions… but are you ready for the challenges of wintery roads? Test your knowledge and check out our tips for driving in hazardous road conditions.
Winterize Your Home
Defend Against Drafts
This easy-peasy winterizing idea helps keep drafts from entering through your front door. Simply put a rolled-up towel along the bottom edge of the door, and voila! You’ve made an instant heat-keeper. For a ready-made seal, pick up a draft guard at your local hardware store.
Insulate Your Windows
The other common heat-releasing culprits around the home are your windows. Consider caulking, weather-stripping, or adding layered curtains so your windows will help keep cold air out and warm air in. If you live in an apartment and are worried about your security deposit, or are just looking for something that can easily be removed, consider temporary window insulation film.
Run Your Fans in Reverse
Ceiling fans aren’t just for keeping cool in the summer. Running your ceiling fan clockwise can actually draw warm air up and redistribute it around the room. Just check for a switch on the fan’s motor housing and reverse its direction.