Fall is upon us. The leaves are turning. The nights and mornings are growing cold, and the days are becoming bearable again. Soon winter will be upon us, which means it’s time to store all the outdoor equipment you used all summer.
Here are some of the steps to go through to minimize the damage of winter weather to your summer gear so that you can pull it out when spring rolls around next year.
Here is one piece of gear you’re probably happy to put away for the year. A beautiful lawn is nice, but constantly having to mow it is an annoying chore.
Remove your lawnmower battery and store it someplace cool and dry where there are no fumes that could be ignited by a stray spark (in other words, not near the lawnmower gas can). Clean the mower and drain the fuel or add stabilizer. Check the blade and sharpen it, if necessary. Store your mower in a dry place protected from the elements.
Your sprinklers are one of the most important pieces of equipment to get ready for winter. Start by shutting off the water.
Drain your sprinkler. Depending on your system, this could be done in one of three ways. Some systems drain automatically. You might have to open the valves to let air into the system to complete the draining process. You might drain the sprinkler manually by opening the installed drain at a low point in the system. Open valves to make sure all the water drains out. Some systems are designed to be blown out with an air compressor. Only do this on a system that is designed for it. Otherwise, you might damage the system. If you want to do this yourself, make sure your air compressor is up to the task.
Turn off the timer, making sure you don’t lose all your programs. If you’re not sure how to do that, check the manual.
Finally, insulate any above-ground components with a proper cover.
The right way to winterize your patio furniture depends on the material. For metal furniture, check for scraped paint. If you find scrapes, apply paint appropriate for the material. For wrought iron, remove any rust first with a wire brush.
Thoroughly clean plastic furniture and let it dry. Putting it into storage out of the sun and cold will help extend its lifetime, though it’s not strictly necessary.
Clean all fabrics to remove visible dirt. This might be as simple as brushing, vacuuming, or shaking it off. Sometimes you might need to use soap and water to clean stains.
Wood needs protection from the elements. If your furniture is painted, check for damage and touch up the paint. Unpainted wood furniture should be treated with an appropriate oil, and ideally, sealed against moisture.
For a gas grill, shut off the tank. Clean the grill thoroughly. Coat the burners and grills in cooking oil to prevent rust. Putting a plastic bag over the burners will keep spiders and insects from making their home inside.
If you’re storing your grill outside, you can keep the tank connected and put a cover over the entire assembly. If you’re moving your grill into a garage or shed, disconnect the tank and leave it outside, but under cover.
Start by unplugging your Portacool and emptying the water. Then remove the evaporative media – the brown honeycomb material at the back of the Portacool. This will give you access to clean out the water reservoir. Once the reservoir is clean and dry, put the evaporative media back in place, if it is also dry.
Covering your portable evaporative cooler will help protect it from the elements to improve its life. Otherwise, secure the cord, so it’s not a tripping hazard and roll it into a dry area for storage. Read our step-by-step instructions for a more detailed explanation of how to winterize your Portacool.
Are you in need of additional cooling power for next season? Find a Portacool retailer near you.