That’s right people… like it or not, winters almost here.

With it comes less daylight, longer commutes, back pains from shoveling, runny noses, frozen fingers and toes, eyelash icicles, and chapped lips.  Yes it truly is a magical time of year.

Though few of us actually love winter there are things you can do to make is slightly more tolerable.

In the home:

  • Have your furnace inspected to make sure its healthy,  There’s nothing worse than a furnace that isn’t up to the task on those long winter nights.
  • Have your fireplace cleaned and inspected.  Chances are you’ll be using it more over winter. Its important to make sure its working properly and doesn’t pose a health or fire risk.
  • If you don’t already have a carbon monoxide detector make sure you purchase one.  Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that’s deadly to humans and animals.  A detector is cheap insurance!
  • If you’re going away shut off the water and drain the lines.  That way if your furnace dies your pipes wont freeze and burst.   Also make sure you’ve made arrangements to have someone check on the house daily.
  • Buy a snuggie.  You know those blankets with sleeves that you’ve seen on late night TV.

In your car:

  • Have your car inspected.  A trained mechanic will inspect your vehicle to ensure its in good condition for the winter ahead.  Making sure the belts, and hoses are in good shape, antifreeze is correctly mixed, etc.
  • Invest in a good road side emergency kit.  Make sure it has blankets, candles, food, flashlights, batteries, radio, etc.
  • Consider purchasing a small shovel to keep in the car in case you get stuck.
  • If you’re traveling make sure someone knows where you’re going and what route you plan to take.
  • Invest in a good quality extension cord for your block heater. I like the ones with a light built in to them so you can actually tell there is power flowing.
  • Install a remote starter.  There are many kinds out there, do your homework and find the one that’s right for you.  Some have longer ranger than others. Some can be programmed to run on a schedule if you aren’t able to plug on your car in… for example run for 10 minutes every 2 hours etc.
  • If you have an attached garage, don’t let your car warm up in the garage.  Exhaust fumes can enter the home.
  • Keep spare gloves and a hat in the car… just in case.   When you’re in a hurry you might be glad you did this.

Winter can be long and hard, but if you take a few of these steps in advance it can make is a little more bearable.   Good luck out there and stay warm!