Protect your fair-weather tools — water hoses, edgers, trimmers and lawnmowers — from nature’s wrath. Clean them up and spritz them with lightweight oil to protect them from rust. Then, rearrange your work area for easy access to tools you’ll need this winter.
Change the oil in your snow blower; replace the spark plug and crank it up to make sure it’ll be ready to do the job. Organize and examine your snow shovels and remember to stock up on snow melt.
Tree limbs and branches can cause structural damage and power outages during heavy winds and ice storms. Be sure to trim away overgrowth from your home’s windows. If you see branches that might threaten power lines, do not attempt to trim them yourself. Call your utility company and let the professionals handle the job.
Shut off water to outside faucets and wrap them with foam pipe insulation or thermostatically controlled heat tape before winter arrives. Examine outdoor decks and treat any damage you find now, before freezing temperatures and moisture make it worse. Remove dirt, leaves and pine needles from between the boards to discourage mold and mildew from growing during wet winter conditions.
Smart home applications aren’t limited to the indoors, however. Some spa brands now offer the ability to control your hot tub from your smart phone. With a simple app, you can start the spa and set the temperature just in time for a relaxing dip after work, turn off the hot tub, and adjust the pump and filtration system.
Whether you’re looking for a few items to quickly integrate into a smart home system, or for more advanced applications, several home automation controller options are available at hardware and electronic stores to make your science fiction household become a reality!