It’s been a mild winter so far, but it’s about to get much colder. A “flash freeze” has already started to roll through America, and the forecast for the next few months is looking rather bleak for other states as well. According to The Weather Channel, the Northeast and Great Lakes regions will be experiencing below average temperatures this month—some even reaching subzero temperatures. A few Midwestern states are already experiencing snowfall during this flash freeze, which can only mean one very important thing: Time to get your car and house ready for the cold.
Although we’ve been rather lucky on the weather so far this season, things are about to get much worse, even during the month ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to prep for the frigid temperatures and the icy snow this year—get ahead of the game before it’s too late.
Prepping your car
First, lubricate all services that may cause damage. Your car will experience freezing temperatures, so help it out by lubricating the surfaces that would experience the most trivial damage. This includes window tracks, weather stripping, door locks, and the latches and hinges (because the last thing you want is a frozen hood latch).
Next, check your tires. Because who wants a worn tire during the winter months? Make sure to check your tire pressure and your tire tread depth before exposing your wheels to snowy surfaces this month. If you’re in an area exposed to a lot of snow, consider buying a set of winter tires. They may cost upwards of $600 or more for a set, but the benefits outweigh the costs. Your stopping distance is 30 feet compared to all-season tires, with a 48% faster stop rate and fewer skid marks altogether.
Want to avoid a freezing engine? Check your coolant. Your coolant is there to make sure that your entire cooling system is in shape, especially when it comes to freeze protection. Not sure how? Test your coolant with a digital multimeter following these instructions.
Lastly, switch out those wiper blades with stronger winter blades that can withstand the ice and snow. Winter blades will avoid packed up snow on your blades, which will also eliminate streaking. Here’s how to replace your current wiper blades to winter ones.
If you have extra time, put together a winter emergency kit for your car. It may save you from some sticky situations down the road.
Prepping your house
First, and probably the easiest task, is finding a place for your wet outdoor clothing. Leaving wet hats, gloves, boots, and scarves lying around the house create a slippery floor. Which, in return, creates an unsafe environment at home. Get nifty with your wet clothing by building a mitten and shoe dryer, or a closet glove rack (just need some screw eyes, 18-gauge aluminum wire, and a few clothespins). You can also create simple storage boxes for your wet boots that will save your floors from the melting snow.
Next, you’ll want to make sure that you have a functioning carbon monoxide detector. With your oven, your heater, and even your fireplace working more than the warmer months, you’ll want to keep the house safe from any unwanted substances. Here’s how to make sure all of your detectors work.
Is your house still a bit chilly, even with your heaters running overdrive? Block drafts with quilted curtains on your windows. Winter curtains do wonders when trying to insulate your home.