After your lawn gets its last cut before winter, it will be time to put away the summer outdoor power equipment and get out the snow blower.
Here are seven tips from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute for getting your equipment ready for winter storage.
1. Review owner’s manuals. Re-familiarize yourself with how to handle equipment safely. Lost manuals can be found online. Save a copy on your computer if possible, so it can be consulted when needed. Be familiar with your equipment, and all its features, including how to turn it off quickly and safely.
2. Service all equipment. Before storing spring and summer equipment, clean and service it or take it to a small engine repair shop. Drain and change engine oil and safely dispose the old oil. Service the air filter, and do other maintenance as directed by the owner’s manual. Check winter equipment and see if any maintenance and repairs are required.
3. Handle fuel properly. Unused fuel left in gas tanks over the winter can go stale and even damage equipment. Before storing equipment, add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, then run the equipment to distribute it. Turn the engine off, allow the machine to cool, then restart and run until the gas tank is empty.
For winter equipment, buy the recommended type of fuel no more than 30 days before use. Use fuel with no more than 10% ethanol in outdoor power equipment. Use a fuel stabilizer if recommended by the manufacturer. Get more information on safe fueling for outdoor power equipment at LookBeforeYouPump.com.
4. Charge the battery. Remove and fully charge batteries before storing. Don’t store batteries on metal shelves or allow them to touch metal objects. Store them on a plastic or wood shelf in a climate-controlled structure.
5. Shelter equipment from winter weather. Store spring and summer equipment in a clean and dry place such as a garage, barn or shed. Winter equipment should be kept away from the elements, but be easily available for use.
6. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Make space in the garage or basement before the weather changes, so there is room to store larger yard items. Clean up the yard of sticks, debris, dog and kid’s toys and other items that can damage or destroy equipment. Clear the paths used regularly in your yard, especially during the winter when snow can “hide” things.
7. Have the right weather-appropriate extension cord for your generator. Keep heavy duty weather proof extension cords on hand to use with it. Ensure the length of the cord is necessary to operate the generator a safe distance from the house or building. Never operate a generator indoors, in a garage, breezeway or under an open window.
Sprout new ideas
With our home & garden newsletter!