Getting our outdoor power equipment ready for winter storage

It won’t be long. Make sure your year-round equipment is working and/or being stored properly.

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.

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute offers the following nine tips to help home and business owners prepare for upcoming seasonal changes.

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.

Service all of your equipment. Before storing 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.

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.

Charge the battery. If your equipment has a battery, remove and fully charge it before storing. It’s important batteries not be stored on metal shelves or touching metal objects.

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.

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.

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.

Have the right weather appropriate extension cord for your generator. Keep heavy duty weather proof extension cords on hand to use with your generator.

Get more information on safe fueling for outdoor power equipment at LookBeforeYouPump.com.

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