Winter Time Blues: How to Prepare for the Cold

January 30, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

It is coming, whether we want it to or not. The official first day of winter is December 21. Be willing to bet that the cold comes before the first day of winter. Not to cry wolf, but it is now time to get ready to defend your home and your body from the icy fingers of Jack Frost. These helpful tips work to defrost winter’s best ambitions.

Drink Hot Chocolate

 

Winter Blues
Winter Blues

Image via Flickr by Mt. Hood Territory

Keep a stash of hot chocolate on hand for morning, afternoon, and evening warm-ups. A steaming mug of hot cocoa will warm your hands, your tummy, and your heart. Try a variety pack; and if necessary, buy it by the case. 

Get Your Furnace Serviced

Nothing leaves you colder than an outrageously high heating bill. Keep your furnace running at peak efficiency to save the most money each month on keeping your home toasty. If your furnace sounds like it might be possessed, then ask a few heating and cooling companies for estimates on the cost of installing a furnace. Nobody wants to go a week in January without a furnace. 

Check Your Home for Air Leaks

If you wish to save money and still keep your home warm, have a professional check your home for air leaks. An air leak bleeds hot air from inside your home to the great outdoors. You essentially are paying to heat up winter. Fixing air leaks is an awesome way to save a ton of money on heating and cooling costs. 

Hit the Holiday Sales

One of the colder aspects of winter has little to do with the temperature. It is the loss of sunlight. Break out the sunny decor to help offset winter’s miserable blanket of never-ending white. Think sunflowers and sunsets. Pile on the yellow, gold, and fuchsia colors; and create a cheery nest for the winter. 

Pile on the Layers

Check out hunting and fishing stores for the best base layers around. Hunters sit in the cold and the snow for days waiting to ambush something. They survive the worst elements because of these amazing heat-managing base layers. No need to be cold or risk frostbite; just use warming layers for a snug and comfy addition to your wardrobe. 

Put Science to Work for You

If you have to go outside for any length of time, use pocket and hand warmers. Those little packets that you activate make a real difference when the temperatures plummet. They even make them for boots. Most are easy to use and disposable in any trash bin. Keep a few in your car for emergencies.

Make a Winter Survival Kit for Your Car

Include a blanket or sleeping bag, some snacks such as power bars and trail mix, and some water. You never know when your battery might kick the bucket. Having a winter kit in your car will keep you warm and safe when the temperatures outside are frightful. 

Get Your Car Battery Checked

The cold affects car batteries and their ability to crank the engine. Your car dealer can check battery performance in a simple test. Do not hesitate to replace the battery if its performance is questionable. If you have to replace the battery, opt for one that has a reserve. These special batteries have a switch that you manually throw, and there will be enough juice to start the car. This is perfect for those of you who leave the lights on while you shop.

Get the Hot Water Heater Checked

On your list of household chores, have your gas utility come and check the hot water heater. Nothing sets your week back more than to have the water heater fail when the outside temperatures make Antarctica look pleasant.

Maintain the HVAC

Get all of the filters in the HVAC replaced.  Doing so will save you money on heating costs. Ask about an HEPA filter, which will help to remove all the dust, dander, and mildew odors from the air. 

Winter is totally conquerable. Just break out the happy music, hot chocolate, and the fleece for that bug-in-a-rug feeling.