Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Winter Weather Prep Tips For You and Your Residents
By the time cooler temperatures arrive in Texas, most of us are ready to pull our sweaters and jackets out of their long summer hibernation. In addition to helping our bodies stay warm, there are some things we can do to help keep our dwelling places cozy while conserving energy. Here are some tips to share with your residents this winter.
1. Identify areas where you can seal your home against cold drafts - The goal, of course is to seal warm air in and cold air out, so check around window and door frames for areas where weatherstripping or caulking could be added to create a barrier against the elements. Draft stoppers (available at any home improvement store), are great for use around exterior doors.
2. Let The Sun Shine In – Although the mercury may be dropping, the sun still offers plenty of warmth. While a lot of folks close their blinds to block the relentless summer sun, keeping them open in the cooler months will allow the heat inside.
3. Change Your Air Filters Regularly – In order for your HVAC system to operate most efficiently, you should replace the filter every three months. Because this task is often overlooked, it’s a good idea to set a reminder on your calendar so you don’t forget.
4. Adjust Your Thermostat – Many people have transitioned from traditional thermostats to smart, programmable thermostats. When you switch your smart thermostat over to heat mode, set the normal temperature to around 68 degrees. When you know you’ll be at work or asleep, dial the temperature back by about 10 degrees. Programming your thermostat to kick on about thirty minutes before you plan to return home or wake up will help you conserve energy effortlessly and save you money.
5. Prepare For Possible Power Outages – Power outages are never fun, but during colder months when demand for energy is high and winter storms occur, we should be prepared. Keep flashlights, batteries and heavy blankets close at hand and stock up on some non-perishable food items in case you find yourself with no power for an extended period of time.
Most management companies will post freeze warning signs around their properties to alert residents and tenants of an impending freeze. In addition to this, management should take measures to protect outdoor pipes and faucets and have rock salt (de-icer) ready to protect sidewalks.
The Benjamin Franklin axiom that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” still holds true. Or for more sage advice, we could look to Game of Thrones. On this popular series, House Stark warns to be vigilant in our preparedness. After all, Winter Is Coming.