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Top 5 Ways to Weather Winter Storms

February started off with a winter storm that delivered hazardous driving conditions and frigid temperatures from Kansas to Michigan; dumping 20 inches of snow in some areas before setting its sights on the snow-weary Northeast, The Weather Channel reports.

The latest round of snow is a sure sign the 2015 Blizzard season is underway and homeowners need to prepare for even more winter weather in the coming weeks. Staying safe during a winter storm requires common sense as well as preparation.

Don’t Get Buried – Prepare Early

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Digging out after a winter storm is less stressful when families are prepared ahead of time.

While people rush to hardware and grocery stores after hearing a forecast for a winter storm, there is no need to wait until the last minute. It’s a good idea to pick up last-minute essentials such as food, but preparing for the winter storm season requires being ready for every snow event, not just the big one.

  1. Prepare for power failures: Stock up on batteries for flashlights and small lanterns. Also keep candles on hand as they provide light and some heat.
  2. Keep out the cold: Add insulation to water pipes to prevent freezing in a power outage. Increasing attic insulation and investing in new windows also helps keep warm air in and cold air out.
  3. Be ready to stay indoors: February often means spending increased time indoors. With the continued heating of the home, dry air can become a problem that leads to decreased comfort, health issues and damage to the home. Humidifiers are the most effective way to add moisture to a home’s air.
  4. Inspect your car: Maintaining tires and batteries are two of the best investments commuters can make in the winter. An engine that is slow to turnover is a major sign a battery is failing. However, a battery should be replaced or inspected after 3 years even if it appears to be working fine, according to Firestone. To check tire condition, use the penny test. Simply place a penny in the tread and if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for a new set of all-season tires.
  5. Shop before the snow arrives: Even in northern parts of the country, homeowners often wait until a winter storm hits to check the snow blower or replace last year’s broken shovel. Purchasing or repairing these items early in the season can keep a family a step ahead when hazardous weather arrives, since stores struggle to keep these items on the shelf during a blizzard.

Winterizing a home and car can reduce the impact of the winter storms that are sure to continue throughout February. Don’t leave safety and comfort at the mercy of Mother Nature this year, prepare today.

Are you scratching dry skin, rubbing an itchy nose, and battling a sore throat and irritated eyes?

Are you scratching dry skin, rubbing an itchy nose, and battling a sore throat and irritated eyes? The recent cold spell could be to blame. Web MD explains how dry, winter air can impact you in many uncomfortable ways and what you can do to reduce the symptoms. One of the best ways to tackle dry air in your home is with proper humidification control.Scratching

Winter got off to an early start this year and much of the nation has seen temperatures plunge as frigid arctic air dips south.

An early round of arctic air is reminding those in the U.S. about the need to prepare for the polar vortex.

An early round of arctic air is reminding those in the U.S. about the need to prepare for the polar vortex.

Winter got off to an early start this year and much of the nation has seen temperatures plunge as frigid arctic air dips south. Early predictions by AccuWeather suggest the polar vortex will slip down for multiple blasts of cold air this winter, delivering weather very reminiscent of early 2014. The one bit of good news is that the mass of arctic air should march in and then retreat on several occasions, as opposed to lingering over the country for months.

However, in mid-November record lows were shattered across the country and nearly 50 percent of the contiguous U.S. was covered in snow – the highest percentage since NOAA began tracking the figure, according to The Weather Channel.

Protecting Loved Ones from Frigid Winter Weather

While the polar vortex will make heading outside a miserable experience, it takes its toll indoors as well. Families should prepare now for what will be another long winter. Homeowners who have not had their furnace system checked and cleaned need to do so – and also consider how they will deal with low humidity levels. Humidity refers to the amount of moisture that is in the air. As the relative humidity (RH) drops, the air begins to pull moisture out of anything that it can – including people.

When cold outdoor air is brought into the home and heated, indoor relative humidity drops significantly. Because the furnace runs so often during a polar vortex, homes get very dry. Dry air causes a host of health and comfort issues, including:

  • Itchy, dry eyes
  • Cracked and itchy skin
  • Static shocks
  • Dry, itchy noses
  • Nosebleeds
  • Sore throat

Don’t Hang Your House Out To Dry

Humidity control is also integral to protecting a house and keeping heating bills down. Adding humidity when heating allows people to feel comfortable at lower temperatures. Energy.gov states that turning a thermostat back 10 – 15 degrees for eight hours can reduce heating bills by 5 – 15 percent a year. During a polar vortex, keeping the thermostat down a few degrees could quickly add up to big savings.

Just like people, a house also “feels” the pressures of a polar vortex. Dry air can cause expensive electronic devices to fail, create cracks in wood floors and damage instruments and furniture. Ensuring that dry air doesn’t suck the life out of a house requires adding moisture throughout the heating season. A family’s daily routines, such as cooking, bathing and doing laundry add some moisture to the home each day – but not enough to maintain optimal levels.

How to Control the Humidity in Your Home

Humidifiers are designed to efficiently and effectively control indoor RH during the winter months. Some people sleep with a small humidifier by their bed to prevent a dry throat in the morning, or purchase larger units to raise the RH in an entire room.

Many homeowners can also benefit from whole-house humidification solutions. A whole-home humidifier adds moisture to every room by using the duct system of the furnace. Installed by an HVAC contractor, whole-house humidification products can also automatically change the amount of moisture being added depending on variables such as indoor and outdoor temperature. By continually monitoring and controlling how much humidity is added, automatic humidifiers raise RH without causing condensation to form on windows or walls.

If there is one thing we all have in common today, it’s that we’re cold!

temps-low

If there is one thing we all have in common today, it’s that we’re cold! According to CNN, all 50 states – even Hawaii – have reported at least one area with below freezing temperatures. In addition, 50 percent of the contiguous U.S. had snow on the ground this morning. We hope this early blast of cold weather passes soon! Comment if you agree!
http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/18/us/cold-temps/

The pursuit of happiness is a unique journey for everyone.

Happy-people

The pursuit of happiness is a unique journey for everyone. However, there are certain things that can improve attitude and increase the chance of having a great day. Read the list below from Collective Evolution to find out the 6 things that many happy people say they do every day.http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/10/09/6-things-healthy-happy-people-do-every-day/