We're no strangers to subzero temps but this week is going to be brutal. Several days of below freezing temperatures and even worse: pretty serious wind chills are possible. 

There are several things you can do to your house right now even as the cold temps are upon us. It's not too late to prepare your home to deal with the cold a bit better and perhaps save a few bucks on the heating bills.

Some of these are obvious, some are small tips I've started doing over the years that just make life easier. Stay safe this week and definitely stay warm!

  • CLEAN/WIPE OFF BASEBOARD HEATERS: Man those things get dusty quickly. No matter how often you clean your house, those baseboard heaters (which I hate) collect dust faster because they're on the edges of your rooms. Nobody likes the smell of burning dust.
  • OPEN ALL CABINET DOORS BELOW YOUR SINKS: I've already started doing this with our overnight lows below zero. Better safe than sorry. Your vulnerability to freezing pipes of course varies depending on your insulated walls but I don't like to take chances. I keep them open all day and night during these cold snaps. Ugly, but safe. (If you've got small children this obviously isn't as simple or safe for you to do.) Warm air flow to those pipes is important.
  • BATHMATH OR TOWEL OUTSIDE FOR THE CAT: My cat is brave and insists on going outside for a few minutes even in the worst of weather. I always keep track of how long he's out there but in case he's ready to come in before I get there, he's got a soft and "warmer" place to sit other than the wood deck or cement walkway.
  • DOUBLE CHECK WINDOWS IN ROOMS YOU DON'T USE OFTEN: Last year I felt like such an idiot. One of my basement windows wasn't closed correctly. Yup, you could feel the freezing air seeping in. It was just one of those rooms that I don't use often and only weeks before it had been warm enough to open for fresh air.
  • STAY HOME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE WHEN IT'S FRIGID: Really, a house that's "in use" is more protected from the elements. Taking showers, doing dishes, running the laundry, using the bathroom, washing hands...all keeps water flowing through your pipes with less chance to freeze.
  • HAVE A HAIR DRYER HANDY: If you're one of the few households that don't have one somewhere, borrow one from a friend or go get one. It's a cheap tool to help slow pipes from freezing if you've got a vulnerable area. Never use an open flame, of course. That hair dryer might buy you just enough time to get a professional over to help before pipes bust. AND KNOW WHERE THE WATER SHUT OFF TO YOUR HOUSE IS LOCATED!!

Keeps those sidewalks shoveled, check on your elderly neighbors and stay safe. Brutal cold is nothing to be messed with.

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