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Winter is on its way, and it is going to get cold, gray, wet, and snowy for many of us. I want to help make sure that you are able to stay safe and healthy, but most of all, still have fun.
I mean, we do not want to be cooped up inside for the entire winter, do we?
This article shall take a look at ten points that you should note to have the best possible winter.
Firstly, you should consider ways in which you can remove snow. The following are three items that should be in your purview, depending upon your budget and necessity.
As the name suggests, a snow blower is a machine that you can use to remove snow from your driveway. Typically, snow blowers come in two variants – the single-stage snowblower and the two-stage snowblower. The single-stage snow blowers work well only with paved surfaces. If you live in an area with an unpaved surface, you should prefer the two-stage snowblower. If the job is just way too much for your standard walk behind snow blower, you can always move up to the ATV snow blower to knock that job out in a matter of minutes.
Please, if you are going to use one, make sure you understand how to use the snow blower.
Snow shovels come in a variety of designs. With the traditional snow shovel, you have to lift the shovel each time to remove the snow from a particular area. If done incorrectly, you have a high likelihood of causing an injury, most likely to your back.
More modern designs involve putting a lesser strain on the back and even electric snow shovels now. You can scoop a lot of snow and drag it to another location and drop it without lifting the shovel, as you would with a traditional shovel.
One of the most dangerous things around your house in the wintertime is ice. And more specifically, ice on your sidewalks and driveways.
Just because you remove most of the snow when snow blowing or shoveling, there will still be residual snow there, and melted snow can easily run back onto your surfaces.
The snow can and eventually will melt and then refreeze overnight, forming a very nice and smooth ice layer that is perfect for slipping on.
If you are looking for an ice rink, this may work, but I am sure this is not your ideal spot for it.
The easy solution to this problem is to spread a little de-icer over any of the outdoor surfaces that will be walked on and have any chance of ice formation.
It is extremely important for driving and the potential chance of getting stranded that your vehicle is prepared for winter weather.
Your safety and the safety of the public sharing the streets with you absolutely depends on it.
Below are the 3 things that I believe are the most important to have in your car so that you can use them when they are needed.
Hopefully, only the first item is ever needed, but better to be safe than sorry.
If you cannot see, you cannot drive. You must scrape your windows if you do not have time to allow them to defrost on their own.
The other great use for an ice scraper is to remove all of that excess snow on your hood and roof. It is extremely dangerous to drive with excess snow on your car. It is also illegal in many places for that very reason.
It would help if you also looked to keep a spare blanket in your car. While cars have heaters, it doesn’t hurt to have additional warmth, and there’s no telling when and where your car might stop and how long you might be stuck without heat. It is advisable to keep one or two blankets in your vehicle for unforeseen situations.
Continuing from the previous point, apart from a blanket, you might also require an emergency kit. For minor injuries, you can patch up yourself and drive to the hospital for further inspection. If you plan to go on a trip, an emergency kit will come in handy in areas that don’t have sufficient mobile signal strength. Haiphaik has an excellent emergency kit that is worthy of your consideration.
There are several reasons for you to be considering a backup generator:
- It can help provide the necessary power to your heater if your main power supply is out.
- You do not want your essential appliances like the refrigerator to run out of power supply due to a power outage.
- You would need adequate power to keep your sump pump running, if you have one.
A flooded basement is not something anyone wants, and the sump pump is usually the last thing considered.
Ideally, it would help if you looked for a backup generator that provides anything between five and fifteen thousand watts of power.
Indoor Propane Or Kerosene Heater
Propane and kerosene heaters are excellent backups that come into play in case of a power outage.
You can use backup generators to continue running your main heating supply. At the same time, propane and kerosene heaters can serve as a backup option if the primary source of heat malfunctions or stops working.
Some kerosene heaters give out an odor that some find unpleasant. A standard technique is to light the kerosene heater outside the house until the fumes burn out and then bring it inside the home.
During the initial stages of the fuel burning, residual unburnt kerosene is left behind while the fuel tries to achieve the perfect combustion ratio. You should make sure to regularly clean the tar and other deposits on the wick and replace the wick once it completes its shelf life.
On the other hand, while purchasing a propane heater, you should look for some specific features. These are low oxygen sensor, overheat protection, and automatic shutoff, to name a few. You should also make sure that you don’t place anything on top of the propane heater.
In a nutshell, it is advisable to purchase either the propane heater or the kerosene heater as a backup heat option to prepare yourself for the winter.
Outdoor Patio Heater For Entertainment
Not everything has to be about safety and health here, right?
I love to entertain outdoors, and when it is cold, it is not easy or fun to be outside, unless, of course, you are skiing or sledding. That is why I wanted to add outdoor patio heaters on this list.
The following are four types of patio heaters for you to consider. The usual fuel types for outdoor patio heaters are gas, electric, and wood.
Floor Standing Patio Heaters
These are the most common kind of outdoor patio heaters. They are thin and tall, and you can usually find them outdoors in restaurants or places with outdoor seating arrangements. They come in a variety of design options and can add an aesthetic appeal to your patio.
Wall-mounted Patio Heaters
As the name suggests, you need to attach these heaters to the wall. They come in a variety of price ranges. These kinds of heaters are usually electric, and installation is relatively simple. A good reason to purchase a wall-mounted patio heater is to save ground space for other items on your patio.
You should prefer tabletop heaters if you are on a shoestring budget or want a smaller heater for your patio. Tabletop heaters usually come in the electric variety, although there are a few gas-fueled options. These heaters also come in a variety of designs and can enrich the look of your dining table.
Fire Pits And Chimineas
Finally, you have the option of fire pits and chimineas. These require an extra bit of work on your part for maintenance. If you aren’t into burning wood and prefer the safe and low-maintenance electric options, you should choose among the other three options that we have already seen.
Electric Garage Heater
An electric garage heater is another item that you should consider for your winter preparation list. It provides the extra bit of heat for you to work in your basement and eases your car’s load starting in freezing climates.
There are several factors that you should consider before you make the purchase decision.
- You need to look at the garage’s size and fixate on a heater that can cover the entire area.
- You should look at the safety features that the product offers.
- You should focus on the overheating mechanism and how the heater handles it.
It would be best if you also looked for a heater that offers cool touch functionality. It helps in preventing mishaps that happens when someone touches the heater while it is running. Apart from this, it would help if you looked at the brand and cost of the product.
A good garage heater comes with an adjustable thermostat. It makes it easy to control the amount of heating you would require. Finally, it would be best if you decided whether you want a portable or a fixed heater.
Ultimately, it depends on your needs. You should carefully consider the above points before you make a purchase decision.
The winter can be particularly harsh outdoors. You need to ensure that your pets’ outdoor shelter is adequate to beat the cold and stay warm. For dogs, you should look for a large doghouse with enough blankets and straw bedding. It would help if you also take care to ensure that the doghouse’s opening does not face the wind’s direction.
Some people also prefer adding heating to the doghouse. But you should seek professional help for this purpose as your dog might chew any wiring or heating pad, which might lead to unintended consequences. The above points hold even for a cat house, although a cat house will be a lot smaller than the average doghouse.
Since your pet will expend a lot of heat in ensuring adequate warmth, you should provide your pet with enough food. Pets burn many calories to stay warm, and a larger calorie intake will aid in the purpose. Finally, you should make sure that your pet has enough hair and not groom your pet’s hair as it can hamper the warmth that it receives from its hair coating.
Three Day Food Supply
In case of emergencies, it is best to make sure that there is enough food at home. You should keep a minimum of three days of food supply to face unforeseen circumstances. You can stock up on several items. For example, canned and refrigerated food are good options.
Smoked or dried meats like beef jerky are excellent alternatives. Crackers, canned milk, peanut butter, jelly, and cookies are some other choices.
Finally, you can opt for instant cereals and puddings as well. Apart from food, you also need to ensure that you have enough water supply.
Apart from your regular water supply source, it is best to purchase a few additional water bottles that can last you for a minimum of three days.
Water Faucets And Sprinkler Systems
Although some faucets come with a mark that indicates it is freeze-proof, they sometimes cannot withstand frigid temperatures. You should prefer a faucet cover to prevent the freezing of water in your faucet.
Faucet covers generally come in two different styles. The first variant uses insulated bags that secure around the spigots. And the second variant uses a thermal foam with a flexible gasket along the edges.
If you install the water faucet cover correctly, they provide adequate protection against spigot freezing during freezing temperatures.
The way faucet covers work is by trapping heat that radiates through the pipes into the outdoor spigot.
Winterizing your sprinkler system is another aspect that you should consider. There are a couple of ways to do this. Firstly, you can hire a professional for irrigation maintenance.
If you are unsure of how your system works, this is the way to go. Secondly, you can winterize your sprinkler system without using an air compressor if your lines are at a downward slope.
Finally, if you have a high-end sprinkler system, the product will include instructions for automatic draining that you can follow.
The clothing that you purchase depends on the degree of winter’s harshness in your area.
Coats and head covering are standard pieces of clothing you should buy. With coats, you can choose to purchase a three-fourth option covering everything except your leg or a choice that only covers your upper body. Coats use fabrics such as pure cotton, polyester, wool, and cotton polyfill.
Winter caps predominantly make use of wool. You can also purchase earmuffs if you don’t want to cover your ears with the winter cap. Some jackets come with a hoodie that provides decent thermal insulation for your ears. But a winter cap that covers your ears or earmuffs is a better alternative.
A scarf is another alternative that you can consider for milder winters.
Other than this, it would be best if you also considered purchasing thermal wear for both the upper and lower body.
Gloves are an excellent option, and probably necessary if the temperatures will be below 40 degrees and you will be outside for any period of time.
Finally, you can also consider a winter shawl. You can use the shawl as a cover on top of your thermal wear and jacket/coat.
Through this article, we have seen several ways for you to prepare for winter. You might not feel the need to purchase every item that we have seen in this article. However, you need to assess your situation and ensure that you are adequately prepared. It is essential to cover all your bases and be ready for the worst. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.