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How to prepare before winter weather hits in Spokane, North Idaho

The cold weather is coming on quick! Here's what you need to know about preparing your car, your home, and your yard before it gets here.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Temperatures are quickly dropping in the Inland Northwest and snow is in the forecast for Friday

It's a good idea to start winterizing your home, car and life before it's too late. 

Here are some tips to make sure you're ready when winter arrives. 

Winterizing your home

Keeping your home warm and cozy through the winter is much easier when you take a few simple steps. Here's advice from experts around the internet: 

  • Protect your pipes: It's common knowledge that water expands when it freezes, which can cause your pipes to rupture. To avoid that, Lowes.com suggests sealing cracks and openings in your walls, attic, basement or crawlspace. You can also add insulation around pipes that are open to the exterior of your house. 
  • Buy a snow shovel: Once you realize you need one, it may already be too late. Home Advisor suggests you avoid the mad rush for a snow shovel when the flakes start to fall and get one now so you're prepared when it happens. 
  • Check your doors and windows: Doors and windows that leak air can majorly impact the temperature in your home, according to Lowes.com. You can add weather strips, or use bubble wrap and draft snakes, according to Business Insider
  • Get your furnace ready: It's a good idea to replace the filter in your furnace, and test out your heating system to make sure it's working, according to Home Advisor. 
  • Put the A/C away: Now that there's no need for A/C, it's a good idea to pack window units away so cold air doesn't leak in through the cracks, according to Business Insider. Shutting off the A/C water valve for the season could also keep water from collecting inside it. 

Winterizing your yard

Although plants may have already bloomed for the last time this year, it's a good idea to prepare your yard for the cold temperatures ahead. Most lawn experts actually suggest you start preparing your lawn for the winter in late summer but there are still a few things you can do right now. 

  •  Get a good winter fertilizer: Winter fertilizers are rich in potassium which will strengthen grassroots and help your lawn survive the winter. It's a good idea to get that on your grass before fall is over, according to Better Home and Gardens.
  • Aerate your grass: Aerating your grass prevents the soil from becoming hard and lets water and nutrients reach the roots quicker, according to BHG.

Winterizing your car

Make sure you don't get stuck in the snow this season with a few simple tips. 

  • Pick up a set of winter tires: Although winter wheels can be pricey, they go a long way if you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow. Winter tires can help with traction, and also allow your car to brake more quickly in the snow than it would otherwise, according to Kelley Blue Book. They suggest checking Tire Rack, Consumer Reports and Discount Tire before you buy to get the best deal. 
  • Check your tire pressure: Kelley Blue Book recommends checking your tire pressure to avoid any blowouts. Each 10 degree drop in temperature can mean one pound of air pressure loss. A sticker on your car's door or trunk lid will include the recommended air pressure for your car. 
  • Replace wiper blades: It's a good idea to replace your wiper blades once a year, according to Carmax. Scratching noises or skid marks left on your windshield are signs that your blades need to be replaced immediately.
  • Make sure you have the right supplies in case you get stuck: If you get stuck for whatever reason this winter, it's a good idea to have a first aid kit, a cell phone charger, jumper cables, water, snacks, a bag of sand or cat litter, and warm clothes, according to Carmax.