The very end of a year leads people to believe in magic and reflect on the days that passed almost too quickly, and the first of a new year brings a promise for greater things and a fresh perspective. What these two times also evoke is a chill and chattering teeth. Some of the coldest weather of the year in some parts of the world start as the year is ending and end as the year is starting. Below are some tips to help overcome the cold and make sure everything is ready to withstand chilly nights and frosty mornings.
One of the most expensive things that a person can own is a home. Because it takes a big chunk of your income, it is very precious and requires a lot of maintenance and attention on a regular basis. Preparing your home for cold weather is an important piece to the home maintenance plan that should not be ignored or forgotten.
One of the most well-known tactics for preparing your home for cold weather is to drip the pipes to keep water from freezing inside them, expanding, and busting the pipes. Keeping the water flowing by dripping the pipes helps it to not freeze in place and cause larger issues. And, in case of emergencies, familiarize yourself with where the water shutoff valve is just in case there is an issue despite your efforts.
Another thing to consider when preparing for the cold is how you are going to stay warm. A heating system or fireplace is definitely on the list. The best time to check these things is before you’re freezing cold and needing them. Turn the unit on to make sure all is working properly and check the filters to make sure they are clean and keeping things efficient for you and your family. Also take the time to inspect the fireplace and chimney for any debris that could catch fire and cause issues and for any animals that may be living within the chimney, like birds, before using this as a source of heat.
Most home insurance websites contain these and other helpful tips to get your home ready for cold weather, and resources from this article can be found here. Protecting your investment in home ownership requires some forethought and work to make sure that things within your home are running smoothly, and being prepared offers a peace of mind that can help you sleep through the night.
Other investments that need some preparedness attention during months of cold weather are vehicles. Many people rely on a car to get to and from work, school, and extracurricular activities, and a car is an easy thing to get stranded in during times of cold weather. This is why it is important to make sure your car has at least half a tank of gas at all times. It is also important to take care of the tires by being prepared with chains for them or biting the bullet to replace them if it is time to do so anyway. Another thing to consider is an emergency kit for the car. Stock your kit with blankets, jackets, and hand warmers to keep you comfortable while trying to get out of a sticky situation. A red steamer, shovel, and a bag of sand or gravel can help if you’re trapped in the snow and should be included in an emergency kit as well. Many people rely heavily on vehicles and spend a lot of time in them during commutes. Being prepared for the worst and having nothing happen is always better than not being prepared and being stuck in a tough situation to maneuver.
Once your home and your car are ready for the cold weather ahead, you need to focus on keeping yourself and your family warm and safe. Dressing for cold weather requires layers upon layers of clothing like long johns for underneath and thick coats for on top. Cold weather accessories, while completing an outfit, are important for keeping extremities like hands and feet warm. Make sure to include hats, scarves, and gloves when spending time outside or just traveling from car to building. Hand warmers are also a good thing to keep around on extra chilly days and can be used in shoes, gloves, hats, and anywhere else that may get a little extra cold.
It’s a magical and hope-filled time of year when cold weather strikes and the chill should not be allowed to put a damper on all of the fun. Do some research and prepare yourself for any potential cold weather outcomes to keep things fun and not frigid.