Staying warm during cold weather

Photo: ellenm1 / Flickr

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When temperatures begin creeping below the freezing mark, keeping warm becomes a priority whether you’re working outside, or inside.

Here’s a few tips for keeping warms during those chilly days of winter.

Winter weather checklist

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these few tips for getting prepared for bad winter weather:

  • Make sure to have extra batteries for cellphones and battery-powered radios, in case of a power outage.
  • Listen to emergency broadcasts.
  • Check in on older, or disabled neighbors; assist as necessary.

Keeping yourself and your family warm

  • Using a stove as a heating sort is not safe. Instead use extra blankets, sleeping bags or winter coats.
  • If your fireplace is safe, use it to warm rooms in its immediate vicinity.
  • Space heaters work well to heat small to medium-sized rooms. Remember to keep any heating elements at least three feet away from furniture and drapes.
  • Don’t leave a space heater on unattended.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy in case of emergencies.

Keeping your pet warm

The ASPCA recommends doing the following to keep your pets safe during winter weather:

  • Keep your cats inside.
  • During winter weather, outdoor cats sometimes take shelter under the hoods of cars. Bang on the hood of your car before starting it to scare any cats away.
  • Wipe of your dogs legs, feet and stomach when it comes inside out of the snow.
  • Never shave a dog down to skin during winter months.
  • Avoid leaving your cat or dog alone in a car during winter weather.
  • If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors during the winter, increase its food intake. During cold weather animals expel more energy to stay warm.

Keep your home warm

Keeping your home draft-free during the winter can greatly reduce heating costs, as well as make it a more comfortable place to be. Keeping your home free of drafts can also prevent water pipes from freezing.

Here’s some tips:

  • Insulate attics, garages and other unheated areas.
  • Seal air leaks near indoor pipes, around windows and under doors.
  • During extremely cold weather, let your facets drip water. A slow stream of water coming through your pipes will prevent the pipes from freezing.
  • Don’t let your home get below 55 degrees, even if you’re out of town.
  • Use sealant around pipes that go outdoors.

Keep your car in working order

A car is a lifeline for many people living in rural areas. Without a working vehicle, getting needed groceries and supplies can be difficult.

Here’s a few tips to keep your car working even when it’s freezing outside:

  • Keep your car battery in working order during winter months.
  • Purchase winter tires for your vehicle. Winter tires perform better in the snow and ice, and can prevent unwieldy slides while driving.
  • Consider a low-viscosity oil in the winter. When temperatures get chilly, it can impact how your motor oil performs. A lower-viscosity oil will perform better in winter. Make sure to read your owner’s manual before replacing your motor oil.
  • Replace wiper blades to keep your windshield clear.
  • Learn to drive during winter weather. 

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