GREEN BAY -- Whether this winter is going to be harsh or easy going, it's on its way and now is the time to be prepared.
For many of us, fall means turning back the clock and looking ahead to Thanksgiving turkey, but if you've lived in Northeast Wisconsin long enough, you know that snow is right around the corner. Whether you call it a blessing or a curse, winter will soon be upon us and there are several easy steps you can take to make sure you weather the season well, starting with your home. "Every forced air furnace has an air filter on it and that does need to be replaced monthly or every six months depending on the filter you have, but that's usually the number one cause for a lot of failures," says Shannon Beyersdorf with Bay Area Services.
Along with that new filter, an overall service call will make sure furnace igniters and drains are clean and clear. New batteries in your thermostat could make the difference between having heat or having to wrap up in a blanket. Make sure your furnace vents aren't blocked, gutters are clear of debris, and outdoor water pipes are turned off for the season.
When it comes to winterizing your car, experts say it may be best to leave it to the professionals, particularly with newer models. "They may be designed a little different that most folks are used to in the past, so for that, we have factory trained technicians ready and waiting to help service the vehicle and make sure it's done right the first time," says Tom Ebenhoe, Le Mieux Toyota's Parts Manager.
In case of emergency, try to have a few extra blankets, a first aid kit, shovel, and a little sand or kitty litter in your car. And what about those winter tires? "We do see winter-fit tires go over the counter quite a bit more now and that's because with the sportier handling vehicles, those tires are all-season, but may not be able to command the weather the way a winter-fit can. And a dedicated tire will help keep you as safe as possible in any kind of weather," Ebenhoe says.
One last bit of winterizing advice: replacing your worn out windshield wiper blades can help you see your way safely through another Wisconsin winter.