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Are You Winterized?

September 30, 2013

Woman with snow shovel

Have you given any thought to the upcoming winter weather? I know that I have heard rumors that the Farmer’s almanac is predicting a bad winter for us. Who knows, it could be a rumor, but then again, it could be the truth. Either way, a smart woman wants to be prepared.

So, besides getting your best boots, coat, gloves and hat ready, I want you to winterize your home. You need to be able to snuggle up inside when you have to. I want you safe and warm. I also want you to save money so that you can afford those awesome new boots. So, here are some things I want you to do around your house to make it draft-free, more economical, (saving on your BGE bill so you can buy that awesome pair of winter boots), or that are just plain necessary in the long run.

  1. Participate in the $100 energy audit by BGE is a deal. Go online and sign up. You get some $300-$400 worth of freebies in the end so you actually save money and you learn what needs to be improved around your house. It is worth it!
  2. Install a programmable thermostat to save on energy at night and when you are not home during the day.
  3. Caulk and weather strip doors and windows.
  4. Caulk and seal leaks around plumbing, duct work, electrical wires coming through walls, floors, ceilings and any outside-to-inside areas.
  5. Install foam gaskets behind outlet covers and switch plates. (they come precut to fit each size outlet)
  6. During the winter, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to let the sunlight into your house and close them at night.
  7. Check for open fireplace dampers.
  8. Wash only full loads of clothes and dishes to save on energy.
  9. Air-dry your dishes in the dishwasher instead of using the drying cycle.
  10. Turn off the exhaust fans in the kitchen and bath 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing.
  11. Clean snow off overhangs so that it does not accumulate and cause too much weight on the structure.
  12. Shovel walkways and steps frequently so the snow does not pile up and become too heavy for you to work with. Waiting too long puts a strain on your heart and back.
  13. Check now to be sure your window ice scraper, generator, snow blower, shovel, ice melt, salt, etc. are all there and are all in working condition and easy accessible. Do NOT wait for the first snow to arrive.
  14. Check to be sure your hat, gloves, boots, scarf, and coat are the latest style and fit properly. A DIY woman wants to be well-prepared as she is shoveling her walkway and talking to the news media about why she was the ONLY one in the neighborhood so prepared. (smile)

To staying safe and warm this winter season,

Jo Ellen Soesbee, The ToolBox TomGirl

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