• James Insurance Broker

Winter Weather Tips

Updated: Jan 30, 2019

With the first snowfall of the year upon us and the nights becoming much colder winter has just started to arrive. Along with bringing out your winter coat, hat and boots from the basement there are a few other things you should consider.

Lets look at some tips to help you get jump-started this winter.

Vehicles - For your car you may want to get the oil changed and have a quick check by your mechanic to ensure it is running in tip top shape. This will help to make sure you aren't stuck out in the cold this winter. If your handy with cars some things to check are:

Fluids - Antifreeze, power steering, brake and transmission fluid are a few things to keep your eye on. Keep an extra jug of winter windshield washer fluid in the car for those long trips to see your family. Also you should get an oil change.

Tires - Put those winter tires on! By now hopefully you have heard they are good for more than just when the snow flies - they help you stop in the cold weather as well. Plus you are eligible for a discount if you have them on. Check your tires to ensure they are in good condition - cracks, low tread and cuts indicate you may need to change them soon. It is important to make sure they are all at the same pressure and filled to the manufacturers specifications.

Windshield - Now is the time to get those wipers replaced that you've been putting off all summer. OK so maybe I am guilty of exactly the same thing, but wipers are fairly cheap overall and are VERY helpful in those snowy conditions. Check that your windshield spray works properly as well, as it's no fun heading down the highway with a windshield you can't see out of. If there are any small chips or cracks, now is the time to get them fixed - it is a lot cheaper to fix a chip then replace your entire windshield!

Gas - Contrary to popular belief, gasoline can freeze in the winter if it gets cold enough. Mind you we rarely see that kind of cold, but it can happen. It is a good idea to not let your gas tank get too low over the winter, as this will prevent freezing from happening. It also has the benefits of not running out of gas and freezing walking to the nearest gas station. Cars do use more gas in the winter, as they have to fight through the cold like the rest of us.

Filters - With the cold air you most likely won't have your windows down too often, which is why it is important to check your cabin air filter. This is the filter that cleans the air in your car while you are driving. Over time they can become very dirty, and considering the amount of time we spend in our cars, make sure they are clean to help with germs and dirt in the car. Plus new ones are typically not too expensive. The other filter you should look at is your air filter in your engine. It prevents debris from clogging up your engine, and is quite vital to a happy car.

Things to Have in Your Car - You should keep a small bag of sand or salt in your car. A scraper is also helpful in clearing the windows in the morning. A cold weather kit is also a good idea, which includes a blanket, gloves, hat, winter boots, small shovel, water, first aid kit, flashlight and a cell phone charger.

House - You've been a responsible citizen and properly prepared your car for the winter. Now let's look at a few things you can do around the house.

Furnace - Your furnace should be checked before it gets too cold to make sure there are no issues with it. Check the filter and replace it if it looks dirty. Make sure it isn't making any odd, loud or unusual noises. It might also help to clean out your vents and make sure furniture is not blocking any of them. Now is also a good time to inspect your CO2 and fire alarms. Your air conditioner should also be covered to ensure it is not damaged during the winter.

Water - All outside hoses and outside taps should be drained to prevent freezing and bursting. Make sure your hot water heater is running well. Ensure no pipes are against walls without any insulation as they may also freeze and burst during the winter.

Roof - Check your shingles to ensure they are in good condition, with no signs of curling or cracking. Make sure the gutters are cleaned so they can get rid of the snow when it melts in the spring.

Storage - Don't forget to put away your patio furniture, BBQ and any other garden equipment that may be damaged by the elements.

If you have any other helpful hints please let us know on our Facebook page!

#tips #winter

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