It’s FREEZING outside! Ok, so maybe non-Texans would just call it cold, but for Texans…YIKES!!
If you’re like me, every time I think it’s going to heat up, it seems like another cold fronts sweeps through making me bundle up like Randy in the Christmas Story. While we can’t stop winter, we can take these 4 Steps to Beat the Cold.
#1 Have your heating devices checked.
Each year, you should have your furnaces, chimney, fireplaces, wood and coal stoves inspected and cleaned before use. This is also a great time to have your HVAC (Heating, ventilation & air-conditioning) check to ensure it is operating efficiently. These inspections can not only save you from a home fire, but also save you money.
#2 Make sure your home is sealed.
Check the weather stripping around doors and windows. Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering the inside of windows with plastic to keep cold air out. Eliminate as many ways as possible from letting the heat escape and the bitter draft get in. As my daddy always said, “We’re not paying to heat the outside!”
#3 Program your thermostat.
Nobody wants to come home to a frigged house, but why spend the money heating it when nobody is there. Program when you want the heater to come on (about 30 minutes before you’ll be home) and remember, you don’t have to walk into a sauna so you can always turn it up higher later. If you have fur babies at home during the day, you might consider not shutting the heat completely off, but you could still turn it down and save.
#4 Protect your pipes.
We can all appreciate a running faucet and fully operational porcelain throne, but if your pipes freeze things can get bad fast! Let the faucet drip and keep the cabinet doors under the sink open to allow warm air flow to the pipes. This could help prevent your pipes from freezing or worst busting. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out from under the sink to ensure they are no longer in the reach of children.
Just remember, you don’t have to be sitting on or touching the furnance to feel the warmth. Use the three-feet rule by placing anything flammable (i.e. paper, clothing, bedding, curtains, rugs, etc) at least three feet away from any space heater. Also, keep a large glass or metal fire screen in front of the fireplace to catch any embers.
Click the links for more tips on cold weather safety and home fire safety.