Winter Chill & How To Stay Warm!

Winter Chill & How To Stay Warm!


Save money on energy & stay safe!

A winter chill has settled across most of the eastern two-thirds of America, a shocking reminder to many that winter is here. Record cold has pushed into Florida, historic snow drifts have been observed in the Dakotas, while ice is threatening to freeze the Potomac River.

winterRelief may be months away, but that does not mean Americans cannot survive, even thrive when winter dishes out its worst. Many people are concerned that come their next heating bill, they’ll be in for some unpleasant news. While heating prices have eased somewhat in recent months, sky high energy bills are still possible. To that end, the American Red Cross offers the following tips on how to reduce energy output while staying warm:

Heat your home safely

  • All heaters need space! Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, fireplaces and stoves.
  • Place portable space heaters on a hard, level, nonflammable surface.
  • Do not put space heaters on rugs or carpets, near bedding or drapes, and keep children and pets away. Look for a model that shuts off automatically if the space heater tips over.
  • Do not use heating equipment to dry wet clothing.
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Never leave portable heaters, wood burning stoves or fireplaces unattended. Turn them off before leaving or going to bed.
  • Keep the fire in the fireplace by using a glass or metal screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

Cut down on your heating bills

  • Eliminate drafts. Use either insulating tape or caulking strips to surround windows and door moldings. Cover your windows with plastic sheeting. If you have storm windows or storm doors, get them up to keep the cold out.
  • Make sure heat vents aren’t blocked by furniture.
  • Turn down the thermostat.
  • Close off any rooms that aren’t in use and close heat vents or turn off radiators in those rooms.
  • Insulate your light switch and outlet plates with foam pads. Cold air can seep into the house through them.
  • Use heavy curtains to keep cold air out. Open them during the day to let the sun help warm your home and close them at night. Use fabric snakes or old carpets in front of windows and doors to help eliminate drafts.
  • Turn off vent fans in the kitchen and bathroom when they are no longer needed.
  • Set ceiling fans to blow air down.

Don’t forget Fido and your neighbor

  • Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing. Don’t forget gloves or mittens, and a hat, preferably one that covers your ears.
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep feet warm and dry and to maintain footing in ice and snow.
  • Don’t forget pets — bring them indoors. If that’s not possible, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they can get to unfrozen water.
  • Check on people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.

Finally, if there is an emergency call for help right away. Treacherous roads can slow down first responders, making quick action on your part important.

Source: American Red Cross

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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".