Temperatures across Texas are dipping below freezing this week. With the atypical weather, most people’s first reaction is to turn up the thermostat. However, there are more energy efficient ways to stay warm during this wintery weather. Check out the tips below to help you survive this cold spell in the Lone Star state.
Avoid frozen pipes
Unusually cold temperatures can cause problems around the house that you typically don’t think of. Most people know that cold weather highlights drafty doors and windows, but not everyone thinks about the pipes. Frozen pipes can burst and cause expensive damages in your house or apartment. Keep water moving by allowing faucets to drip, and consider taking on these other five tips to avoid frozen pipes.
Turn on your ceiling fan
When it’s cold outside, using your ceiling fan seems counterintuitive. However, hot air rises. By turning your ceiling fan to its lowest setting, it will help keep the warm air in the livable space in your home, rather than letting the heat get stuck up high. Also, check which direction your fan is spinning to optimize temperature, according to Simple Dollar. Winter weather does best with a clockwise fan.
Warm up from the inside out
It is easier, cheaper and faster to warm up your body than to heat up a room. For a quick warm up, try ten-minute-or-less work out circuit. Jumping jacks, burpees, high knees, crunches and push-ups are zero-equipment exercises you can do to quickly warm up. The trick is to work hard enough to get your blood flowing, but not so hard that you break a sweat, as your sweat will ultimately make you feel colder. If exercise doesn’t appeal to you, try layering your clothing. Tucking in an undershirt is a simple way to feel way warmer. If you have to venture outside, consider buying or making hand warmers. Finally, use warm foods to keep you warm. Items like soup, macaroni and cheese, tea and coffee are low-cost items that will help heat you up from the inside out.
Care for your car
How you care for your car in the cold depends on how old your vehicle is. It is a common misconception that all cars need to idle and “warm up” before being driven. But, most cars manufactured in or after the 1980s were made with electronic fuel injection instead of carburetors and do not need to be idled longer than 30 seconds before cold weather driving. Older cars that have carburetors still need time to warm up to avoid stalling out. However, if you have stubborn snow or ice that needs to be cleared from your car, use the heat inside the car to melt it down before driving.
Search for snug spots
Most people know to avoid drafty doors and windows when it’s cold outside. To protect against the winter winds, you can pick up draft stoppers or, if you have old pool noodles around the house, you can make your own. Other cool places in your home can include basements, attics, utility rooms or rooms that have been added on to your home’s original frame. While most people don’t usually hang out in the attic or utility room, beware if you’ve converted those spaces into bedrooms or living spaces. Typically, rooms that have been converted from attics or basements or added on to the original home do not have as efficient heating systems as the rest of the house. If you’re struggling to find a warm spot to snuggle up, try to entice your pets or family members to cozy up on the couch and share their body heat with you.