Does it seem to you like the winters are not only getting longer, but in some cases, have lower temperatures and more snow then they did in the past? Whether it is crazy storms that last for days or snowfall that is in feet instead of inches, our winters are becoming more extreme.
This means that for many of us, preparing for the winter weather had become something we need to take seriously if we don’t want to find ourselves unable to keep up with our heat bills or stuck with frozen pipes come January. So, in the spirit of family support to everyone out there, here are a few tips on how to make that upcoming winter not quite the boogey man we are all envisioning right about now.
Plan for Heating Needs
It doesn’t matter what you needed five or even two years ago, chances are you will need to spend a bit more on heat this year as temperatures plummet in many parts of the country each winter. We have seen longer and more extreme storms in the northern part of the country and even lower temps and more rain in the southern regions. Southern California homes are looking at actually having to turn on their furnaces this winter, that is if the home they live in has one. Many older homes in that region have only small space heaters as the need for a full heating system wasn’t seen as critical in past years.
If you live where your furnace is not only a part of your home but critical to your survival, have it checked out this year before the winter storms hit. Getting furnace filters cleaned and the whole furnace checked out in the fall means no last-minute emergency calls this winter for a failed furnace system. You might even want to talk to your local propane supplier if your furnace is propane fuelled to ask –how much propane do I need to get through the winter this year? Think like a boy scout and Be Prepared this winter!
Prep Your Garden for Winter
One way to keep you winter costs low is to first look around your yard for ideas on ways to protect your home from those cold winter blasts. If you have evergreens in the yard, make sure they are healthy and able to continue to absorb some of the cold winds that will be hitting you this year. Clear off any large branches that may become snow heavy in the winter and fall on your roof.
While you are it, look at the area around your basement walls and make sure to shore up these areas with the branches and leaves that you will accumulate this fall. Using them as a buffer against the cold is an old trick and one worth remembering for the upcoming winter months. A blanket for leaves and branches helps to insulate the earth against cold and will help keep your basement warm and cozy this winter. Plan ahead and be ready for a long cold winter. If you are snug in your home it will be that much easier to bear until spring.