Brace Yourself: Groundhog Day is Coming
Posted On: January 31, 2018
Everyone is more or less aware of these groundhog things: they’re big ole rodents that burrow in the ground, and chill there for all of winter. But, did you know that they also carry magical properties? Once a year, if a groundhog visually stumbles onto their own shadow, they’ll cause the entire world to experience 6 more weeks of winter.
Pictured Above: A Mythical Groundhog, and American Actor Bill Murray.
Worried about an extra onslaught of cold weather? Here are some handy tips to keep in mind in case a groundhog curses us all.
We’ve already covered in depth everything you can do to keep your home cozy, but we’ll cover a few tips just to refresh your memory:
A Bare Floor is a Cold Floor – Did you know a substantial portion of your home’s heat escapes through your floor? Cover it up with a heavy rug! Your feet and energy bill will thank you.
A Little Draft Adds Up – Heat can escape through the smallest leaks; you’re going to want to seal up the edges of your home so that it’s as close to airtight as possible. Weather stripping around doors and windows, as well as caulk around the outside equivalents, will go a long way to a warm home.
Keep Your Heating Healthy – The biggest step you can make in the right direction is to keep your heating system running smoothly. Change your HVAC filters regularly to help it perform optimally. Also find a trusted furnace technician to tune up your home’s furnace. With your system in tip-top shape, it achieves manufacturer-rated efficiency.
In addition to keeping your heating healthy, you should keep in mind how to keep your body running it’s best: flu season tends to coincide with winter, which makes “home, sick” and “cabin fever” take on whole new meanings not worth discovering.
It’s Never Too Late – Contrary to popular belief, it’s never too late to get your flu shot. The optimal time may have been back in October, but getting it now will still prepare you for coming months.
Cleanliness is a Virtue – Wash hands thoroughly as often as you can, and avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose. Also, disinfect surfaces you regularly come in contact with! The goal is to make germs as inaccessible to you as possible.
Stay Home – If you’re asking whether or not you should stay home, the answer is you should stay home. This isn’t a greedy mindset, it’s the best for everyone. If suffering from the flu, you’re contagious for one week after, and one day before, the moment symptoms manifest. It’s recommended you stay home for 24 hours after your fever has subsided.
Even though a groundhog might tuck tail and scurry for shelter for the rest of winter, you can’t spend 6 weeks hiding in your house. Eventually, you will have to venture outside. Here are some tips to the lessen the danger of winter weather for when you do venture.
Roads can be treacherous with winter weather, so it’s wise to drive extra safe. Try out these tips to make your trip safe instead of slippery.
Inflate Tires, Not Airbags – Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
Slow Your Roll – It takes longer for your car to do everything on snow covered roads: accelerating, stopping, turning, all of it. Drive slow to ensure you have time for your car to respond.
Filler Up – Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid a gas line freeze up. Yes, a gas line freeze is real: it happens when water vapor contained in the fuel line freezes in frigid temperatures.
Slid into a Problem? – Stream Roadside Assistance has you covered. With assistance guaranteed anywhere within the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico, all you have to do is call the toll-free number on your membership card and we’ll send a service truck before the call is even finished. So if you do hit a bad patch of ice, there’s one less thing to stress about after the fact.
With regards to keeping the exterior of your home in tip-top shape…
Clear the Way – Statistically speaking, everyone suffers from the 100% probability of slipping on ice, as it is slippery. You can prevent this calamity, and any possible injury, by making sure the walkways allow for sure-footedness. The best thing to do would be to lay out some form of ice-melt prior to the blizzard, though you can still apply this as you’re shoveling the walkway. With regards to shoveling: stretch beforehand and limit yourself to 15-20 minutes at a time. Shoveling is strenuous on the back.
Let the House Breathe – Carbon monoxide poisoning tends to spike in the winter due to home heating being a critical source of carbon monoxide. The other component? Blocked vents. Inspect your vents to make sure they aren’t blocked by snow or frozen over. If so, carefully remove the blockage so that the gasses can escape.