Fall is a busy season in the yard for home and business owners. After the lawn gets its last cut before winter, it will be time to put away spring and summer outdoor power equipment, like lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws, and trimmers.
And you will need to get snow throwers, generators, and other small engine equipment out and ready for winter use.
We have talked about fall cleaning, fall getaways, and getting our home ready for the winter, but we haven’t talked about getting our outdoor power equipment ready for winter.
9 Tips to Help Get Your Outdoor Power Equipment Winter Ready
How do I winterize your outdoor power equipment is important and what you do today will save you money in the future.
What is the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute?
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing power equipment, small engine, utility vehicle, golf car and personal transport vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, offers tips to help home and business owners prepare for upcoming seasonal changes.
How do I winterize my lawn equipment?
“Doing good maintenance in the fall means that your lawn mower will be in ready when spring arrives and you are eager to tackle landscaping projects,” said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI. “As you get ready for winter, now is also the time to do snow thrower and generator maintenance.
You should also review safe handling procedures so you know how to use your equipment and are ready when snow falls.” Here’s a few tips from Kiser to help:
Read The Owner’s Manual
Review your owner’s manual for your equipment. Re-familiarize yourself with how to handle your equipment safely and any maintenance needs.
If you lost your manual, you can usually find it online. Save a copy on your computer if possible, so you can consult it when needed.
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Service all of Your Equipment
Before storing any equipment, you won’t need during the winter months, clean and service it yourself or take it to a small engine repair shop.
Drain and change engine oil and dispose of old oil safely. Service the air filter and do other maintenance activities as directed by your service manual. Check all winter equipment and see what maintenance and repairs are required.
Handle fuel properly
Unused gas left in gas tanks over the winter can go stale. It can even damage your equipment. For equipment you’ll store, 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 equipment until the gas tank is empty.
For winter equipment, be sure you know what fuel your manufacturer recommends be used. Most outdoor power equipment is designed, built and warranted to run on ten percent or less ethanol fuel.
Charge the battery
If your equipment has a battery, remove and fully charge it before storing. It’s important batteries are not stored on metal shelves or touching metal objects. Store the battery on a plastic or wood shelf in a climate-controlled structure.
Shelter your equipment from winter weather
Store your 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 when needed. Always keep your outdoor power equipment out of the reach of children and pets.
Do a yard cleanup
Clear the paths you use regularly in your yard, especially during the winter, and put away warm weather items.
Make space in your garage or basement before the weather changes, so you have room to store larger yard items, like patio furniture, umbrellas and summer toys.
If you are getting out winter equipment, such as a generator or snow thrower, review safe handling procedures. Familiarize yourself with your equipment and make sure you know how to turn on and off the machine and how to use the equipment safely.
Find and prepare to fill your gas can
Buy the type of fuel recommended by your equipment manufacturer no more than 30 days before you will use it.
You should use fuel with no more than 10% ethanol in outdoor power equipment. Also, fuel goes stale and will need to be replaced if you have not used it within a month. Use a fuel stabilizer if recommended by your manufacturer.
Use the Right Weather Appropriate Extension Cords
Have the right weather appropriate extension cord for your generator. Keep heavy duty weatherproof extension cords on hand to use with your generator.
Winterizing your Outdoor Power Equipment Ready for winter storage will save you money on maintenance and extend the life of them.
These 9 tips to help you properly are helpful when you store your winter equipment this season.
Get more information on safe fueling for outdoor power equipment at LookBeforeYouPump.com.