I feel kind of silly writing this considering that I drove home from work with my windows down yesterday, and it’s going to be 60 degrees tomorrow! But it is in fact February which is officially winter and it may actually get cold at some point. You may be reading this because you received a SOA Winter Advice card in the mail. If so, we’ve included some additional helpful tips below, as well as some you may have already seen. Here are some random tips to help you through the season…
- Fully open south facing window blinds to take advantage of southern light and radiant heat.
- When it is snowing a lot – stay ahead of the snow. Shovel frequently so that it isn’t as strenuous as moving deep snow off the walk or drive.
- Enjoy spring early. Take a cutting from flowering trees and shrubs and force it to bloom early. Here’s how: http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/gardening-how-to/forcing-flowering-branches.htm
- Keep a container of ice melt in your car for the winter in case you have problems on icy roads. Sometimes it is just enough to get a little traction to get you back and on your way again.
- Place an inexpensive sun shield (the kind that is meant to be used inside to keep the sun out of a parked car) on the outside of your windshield when snow or ice is expected so you won’t have to scrape.
- Don’t use a fireplace as a main heat source for your home. Cold air is pulled into your house through various openings to the outside by the lower pressure caused by hot air rising out of the chimney, so it is not as effective as using the home’s primary source of heat.
- De-ice your car windows with 2/3 Vinegar and 1/3 water. Just spray on the windows and the ice will melt away.
- Recycle old newspapers by making rolled paper logs for your fireplace. Roll newspaper sheets around a broom stick until your log is the desired size, and then soak your log thoroughly in water. Dry the log overnight and use like ordinary wood.
- Install a programmable thermostat. When installed and used with the four pre-programmed temperature settings for weekend and weekdays, you can save about $100 each year while staying comfortable.
- Don’t use “cruise control” when driving in wintry conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the slightest touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.