After 5 winters in Atlanta, I hesitate to complain about cold weather. I grew up in Cleveland and spent part of my career north of Albany, New York, so I’ve lived in much colder climates. Still, as the temperatures move lower it’s always good to reflect on a few steps we take specifically at this time of year. Some are for your car, some for your home, and some are just for you!
- Check your tires for wear and proper inflation. Whether you have snow near you or not, this should be done a couple times a year anyway. If you are starting to notice the tread wear bars, you should be thinking about taking the car to the tire shop.
- If you park outside and there is ice or frost on the windshield or rear window, scrape it off! Don’t just clear a little view area that you think will be enough until the defroster kicks in. Put a good scraper in your car so it is there when you need it.
- Keep plenty of gas in your tank. If you ever get stranded (and I have been!) you do not want to be hiking for gas or risk running out while you are waiting for a storm to blow by.
- If you are anything like me (bald) or even close, you need a hat. A large percentage of body heat is lost from your head. The longer you might be outside, the more important this becomes. And on the subject of protective clothing, get some gloves and use them. Not just when it is below freezing, when there is the greatest danger to you physically, but anytime the temperature is cold enough to keep your hands in your pockets.
- If you have a gas furnace, have it inspected annually by a professional. I had a problem with no heat a few years ago and when the technician came to check it out, he had to lock out the gas line until I replaced the burner. It was so badly corroded it was a potential explosion problem.
- Check that all your windows are closed tight, and door seals are intact. Heat loss in these areas is greatest, and when the cold winds blow, problems in this area suck money (heat) right out of your house.
- If you have gas logs, make sure they are properly vented or are approved for non-ventilated spaces. Heat is good, asphyxiation is bad.
- If you live where there is danger of hard frost, turn off the water supply to outdoor faucets. Remove all hoses that might be attached. If there is water in the line when the deep freeze comes, pipes will crack or break.
There are so many more things to consider, but this list will probably trigger other ideas for you. Got any more? Share them below if you please.
Thanks, and let’s be careful out there.
Anna at abdpbt is responsible for the effort to Fight Listless Mondays. Find other list links on her blog. Her lists and the others linked there always give you something to think about, and may even make you smile!