Cold Weather Quick Tips


On Mondays I usually like to write about gardening topics, but I’m making an exception today since we’re in a second bout of sub-zero temps here in the Midwest, in the span of a week. It’s currently -3 here, with wind chill temps down below -20. -20!!! Staying warm in those kinds of temps can be challenging, but there are some simple ways you can ward off the chill.

  • Put draft dodgers, or rolled up towels, at the base of windows and doors.
  • Close the drapes as soon as the sun starts to fade to keep the heat in. If you only have blinds for window treatments, consider hanging up blankets over the windows for an extra insulating layer.
  • Layer your clothes – a silk layer of “long johns” adds good warmth, and can be worn without too much bulk.
  • Put extra blankets on the bed, and set some out on the couch and chairs.
  • Wear socks and/or slippers around the house.
  • Wear a hat indoors – even to bed! A lot of heat escapes our bodies through the head, so this simple trick can warm you considerably.
  • If you have a house with vaulted ceilings, you might consider spending most of your time during the coldest weather in a smaller room where you can close a door, or hang a blanket in the doorway.
  • Consume hot drinks and soups – tea, hot chocolate and hearty soups are very warming, as well as being tasty morale boosters.
  • Remember to move your indoor plants away from cold windows.
  • Be mindful of the plumbing – if you have uninsulated pipes on exterior walls, leave the cabinets open so warm air from the room circulates around the pipes. Wrap pipes in newspaper or towels. And if you’re really concerned about them freezing, leaves the taps on a slow drip.
  • Close off unheated spaces in your home, such as closets, to conserve heat in the living spaces.
  • Try not to go outside – but if you have to, make sure your skin is covered. Hat, gloves, scarf, warm coat, thick socks, winter boots, etc. Frost bite and hypothermia can be life-threatening and can occur in as little as 20-30 minutes at sub zero temperatures.
  • If you elect to use a space heater to supplement your home, be safe about it’s use – make sure you’re using a model that is rated for indoor use, and keep it well away from all furniture, drapes and linens. Make sure animals and kids aren’t running around near it. A house fire in extreme cold weather is challenging to get under control, not to mention the risks to you and your family.

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