Preparing for winter is simply the process of making sure that any part of the boat that may contain raw water is drained and replaced with antifreeze. This is essential if you have a ship on board and you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing for any period of time. Preparing for winter is when a house is prepared to become vacant. This process prepares the plumbing system and components so that they are not affected by extreme temperatures (so that the pipes do not freeze).
The process must be done when a house is expected to be empty during the heating season, that is, during the winter. When finished, the house can now safely remain empty without utilities, specifically, without heating. The first step in de-wintering your plumbing system is to remove all of the faucet aerators. This includes all kitchen sinks, toilet sinks, and laundry sinks.
Sometimes accumulations will build up in the pipes, and removing the aerators allows any build-up to drain out of the system. This will keep water flowing, preventing interior leaks and most ice dams, which generously occurred in the Northeast just two winters ago. The owner of a 24-foot Bayliner in Portland, Oregon, never got around to preparing his two gasoline engines for winter and instead put a heater in the engine compartment. Therefore, unless your sailing takes place in Hawaii, we recommend that you prepare your boat for winter if there is any time when it could freeze, to minimize the chances of a sudden freeze putting it out of service next season.
Households can save up to 15 percent a year on energy by simply changing the direction of their ceiling fans in winter and spring. There's no way to accurately predict how cold winter will be in your state, so don't be caught off guard this year. Some of the essentials of your winter-ready emergency kit include gloves, socks, boots, sunglasses, a hat and a scarf. Homes are sometimes damaged due to cold and stormy winters, whether or not they are prepared for winter, but proper preparation for winter will stop “preventable damage” to homes, such as broken pipes, gas leaks, and more.
This reduces or eliminates the risk of accidental release, which can lead to the explosions you've read about, especially in winter. If you have a summer vacation home that you don't occupy in winter, be sure to take a fall weekend to visit the house and prepare it for winter. Most of those who don't prepare for winter, or don't do it properly, only discover that something is wrong in spring, when brown foam starts to come out of a crack in the side of the engine block, or what looks like chocolate milk appears on the rod. Antifreeze for winter-ready engines and freshwater systems is not the same as the coolant placed in the engine's heat exchanger (the equivalent of a radiator on a ship).
If you live in an area where you can run the engine every few weeks (long enough for it to reach normal operating temperature), additional winter preparation measures are generally not necessary. We've found that most 72-hour kits, even in places where it snows half the year, aren't ready for winter. People who have the time and financial capacity to take long vacations should also prepare their homes for winter. Weather damage and excessive use tend to slow down Internet connections during normal winters, and this winter should be much worse than usual.