Originally published October 2018, updated September 2021
It’s time to winterize! Minimize damage from the cold with winter preparation. From faucets to patio furniture, winter preparation is easy and saves time and money by avoiding hazards like burst pipes, broken AC units, and rusting cars.
How to Winterize Outdoor Faucets
Water freezing in your pipes can cause costly damage to your home. Outdoor faucets are especially susceptible to burst from the stress of water expanding as it freezes.
- Remove all connectors, including hoses and splitters, from the spigot. If you leave these connected, they can trap water, and water that isn’t moving freezes easily. Disconnect hoses before the temperature drops. Even one night of below freezing temperatures can burst pipes.
- Inspect faucets for leaks. A slow drip can freeze in the pipe and cause damage. If you find a leak, repair or replace the faucet before freezing weather hits.
- Find the shut-off valve and turn off the water for each faucet. The main valves are usually located in your basement or somewhere inside your home.
- Drain water out of the faucet. Turn on the faucet after shutting the water off to drain any remaining water. Leave the faucet turned on for the rest of the winter.
- Protect your faucets. Insulated faucet covers provide added protection to your faucet. Our faucet covers provide thick insulation to withstand extreme weather conditions and a drawcord for a secure fit.
How to Winterize Vehicles
Snow, rain, and winter road salt can ruin your car’s paint job and cause rust. Outdoor vehicle covers protect cars from the weather, sap, leaves, dirt, dust, and animal scat. If you park your car outside most of the time, a heavy-duty cover will give it extra protection against harsh winter conditions. Our top-rated vehicle covers provide the protection your car needs from freezing temperatures. For more information, learn what you need to know before buying a car cover.
How to Winterize Air Conditioners
In mild winter climates, you only need to use your air conditioner cover during severe storms. However, if your air conditioner unit is beneath trees, you may want to consider investing in a mesh top AC cover.These can stay on the unit while it is running, and will protect it from falling debris.
In harsh winters, your air conditioner is vulnerable to pests, temperature fluctuations, and falling ice. During the winter, pests search for warm homes and your air conditioner is the perfect place. Lizards, mice, and other creatures can chew up non-insulated Freon lines, air conditioner wiring, and strip parts as they make their nests. To prevent this, choose a full air conditioner cover that secures at the bottom with a heavy-duty strap and a built-in elastic band.
Rain and snow can also damage your air conditioner. Water melts and refreezes on condenser coils. Over time this cycle damages your air conditioner. Choose a breathable air conditioner cover so condensation does not get trapped in your air conditioner, causing mold and mildew to grow. This decreases airflow which makes your air conditioner less efficient, and causes mold and mildew to enter your home.
Icicles and hail can fall on your air conditioner and leave it damaged. Armor top covers have four plates of armor sandwiched between two layers of one of our materials (choose from Classic, Elite, or Ultima!) to protect your air conditioner from anything nature throws its way.
How to Winterize Generators
Your backup generator is one of your most valuable assets in the winter. If a major storm knocks out the power, you will need to rely on your backup generator. Generator covers provide protection so your backup generator is in working order during emergencies. Covers keep out animals, dirt, and dust that can damage your generator. It also keeps your generator safe from rain, snow, and other wet conditions. This is vital for safety because moisture on the outlets can cause electrocution or an explosion.
How to Winterize Outdoor Furniture
Whether you live in a mild or harsh winter climate, patio furniture covers prolong the life of your furniture and keep it looking like new. In a mild climate, you might just need to cover your outdoor furniture in the winter. But if you get harsh rain or snow in winter, you’re going to have to do a little extra work. Cold temperatures make your furniture’s joints expand and shrink as it gets cold and warms up. Snow and rain make your outdoor furniture rust and fade. Follow these steps to keep your outdoor furniture protected through cold weather.
- Clean your patio furniture. Giving your patio furniture a good clean will keep it in tip-top condition over the winter and will make it easier when you bring it out in spring. Learn how to clean your outdoor furniture depending on the type of material it is made of.
- Bring your patio furniture inside. If you have the space and your winters are harsh, you may want to store your patio furniture in a shed, garage, or your basement.
- Make sure your furniture covers are clean. There’s little point in putting a dirty cover on clean furniture. Clean your covers with a mild soap and warm water solution. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the cover if necessary.
- Cover your furniture. Furniture covers keep your patio furniture from getting dusty, dirty, and wet. If you keep your furniture outside, covers will prevent rain and snow damage and keep furniture from molding or rusting.
- Check on your furniture and covers throughout the winter. With a furniture cover, your furniture should be kept safe and clean throughout the winter. But it’s always a good idea to check once a month to make sure everything is still secure. While checking, give your covers a quick dusting so dirt doesn’t get on the furniture when you take them off for spring.
Home Winterization Checklist
You'll also want to think about winterizing your windows, HVAC system, gutters, and more. Follow this maintenance guide to prevent your home from freezing to make sure you check all the boxes to keep your house safe and sound all winter long.