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Hints of winter say it’s time for fall chores

Thursday, October 5, 2017by  Jon Osterberg

Frosty leaf lies on the lawnHeadlines tell us winter is near: Timberline's Palmer ski lift opens Saturday. Harvest moon and the first freeze is here. People are winterizing their sprinklers.

Wednesday's low of 37 degrees in Bellingham was the coldest it's been there since early April. Residents east of the Cascades have already felt freezing nights.

If you're behind on fall chores, you'll want to consider this checklist.

  • Clean your gutters before frost makes for slippery footing.

  • Blow out your irrigation pipes. If water freezes inside your sprinkler lines, they could crack.

  • Get your furnace serviced now, before truly cold weather sets in and you risk a frigid house if your heat fails.

  • If you're not due for a furnace tune-up, remember to replace your furnace filter, typically done every three months while your furnace is in use.

  • Have your chimney cleaned. If you burn more than half a cord of wood annually, do it every two years to remove creosote, which can fuel chimney fires.

  • Do you have a wood pile? Stack it at least 10 feet from your house so that it's not a conduit for unwelcome bugs and rodents to enter your home.

  • Look around your yard for trees with cracked or dead branches. Prune them now before they fly off in a windstorm and cause damage.

  • Pouring antifreeze into car radiatorCheck the antifreeze in your car to ensure you're protected for cold nights. A 50/50 blend of pure antifreeze with water should keep you out of trouble.

You also might look around your property for tripping hazards, like cracked or buckling walkways. Halloween is just a few weeks away, and you could be liable if a trick-or-treater falls and gets hurt.

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