hvac

Tips to Stay Warm and Safe in the Sub-zero Temperatures

Brought to you by the professionals at Southport Home Services

Winter finally showed up and it really came hard! Southeastern Wisconsin was just buried in snow and is now facing temperatures well below zero. With deep snow and sub-zero temperatures, there are a few different tips to keep in mind when it comes to safety and home efficiency. The professionals here at Southport have put together a list of these different tips.

As the saying goes, safety first! We will start with a few different tips for staying safe during the sub-zero temperatures.

Watch What You Drink

This first one may seem a bit odd when talking about temperature but can be quite important. When the temperatures are reaching below zero staying hydrated is very important. Dehydration will decrease your body’s ability to keep warm. Alcohol also will decrease your body’s ability to create heat. Even worse, alcohol decreases your body’s ability to FEEL the cold. This can be especially dangerous during below zero temperatures as frostbite can set in within minutes. If you drink plenty of water and keep an eye on your alcohol consumption, you should be covered for this tip.

Don’t Be Caught Off-guard

In other words that you have probably heard before… be prepared! This tip is very simple and is one of the easier ones to follow. To check this tip off your list simply put a pair of socks, gloves, a hat, and a blanket in your car at the beginning of winter. These are the items that will get you at the base level of preparation. To be even more prepared you may want to keep an extra pair of boots, a snow shovel, hand warmers, and a flashlight in your car as well. You may not be cold walking to your car or need to trudge through snow to get to your car. However, if your car slips off the road and you’re stuck there until someone can come get you, it will sure get cold very fast. That extra blanket and winter gear will come in handy. Be prepared!

Think of Others

The cold weather does not impact everyone the same way. The older people get, the harder cold weather is on their bodies. If their furnace quits working and the temperature starts dropping in their house, they could be in danger without knowing it. The possibility for serious injury or even death is very real for the elderly when the temperature in their house starts dropping. Cold weather also brings slippery ground. One does not have to be elderly in order to slip and fall taking out the garbage. It would be very dangerous for anyone to slip and fall out in sub zero temperature. If you were to break a bone after falling and be stuck out side in the cold frostbite would set in very fast. When it is this cold out side be sure to be mindful when going outside, but also be mindful of your neighbors and loved ones. Call around or (carefully) stop by your neighbors just to make sure everyone is alright.    

Now that we've gone over the safety aspects of sub-zero temperatures, let’s cover home efficiency tips. Use these tips to keep your home comfortable and efficient in these cold temperatures:

Bundle Up, Dial Down

If you are the type of person to crank your thermostat up to 79 degrees in the winter and walks around your house in shorts, you may want to rethink your system! For you and your home to stay healthy and safe in the cold the thermostat should dip no lower than in between 64 and 68 degrees. This the average range for most houses and people, keep in mind your situation when figuring this number. If you are elderly, that number is going to be higher and even may be past 70 degrees. Be mindful of your situation! If your situation allows, set that thermostat down to a minimum temperature and grab an extra sweater! A sweater or a blanket will warm you up and keep you comfortable while saving you some money on your utility bill.

Program Your Comfort

A very simple solution to saving money and staying comfortable in the winter is installing a programable thermostat. This will allow for you to set and forget, no need to fuss with the thermostat every day. Cranking the heat up when your cold and then cranking it down when your warm is quite inefficient. Keeping the house at an even temperature and dropping that temperature when you are not home will save you good money on your utility bill. With a programmable thermostat all you must do is set your schedule of when you are away and home. After that, the thermostat will do the rest!  

Window Treatments for the Win

Odds are if you have windows in your house, you have shades, blinds, or curtains for those windows. If you do not, look into investing in some right away! These can be simple and important tools for home comfort and efficiency. When there is direct sunlight keep your window treatments open to allow for sunlight to come in. Direct sunlight will help heat your home and take some of the weight off your HVAC system. Closing them when there is no direct sunlight will also help. They will provide a small layer of insulation to prevent heat escaping through the window.

Following these few tips will help keep you safe during these cold temperatures while keeping your house comfortable and efficient! Southport is always here no matter the weather in case you do need more help than a few online tips. If you need any assistance with a heating or plumbing disaster this winter just give us a call at (262) 383-4040. With 24/7 service we will be there no matter the time or day!