Those of us in warm-weather climates have a tough time when the weather turns cold. And, as much as we almost got to have a white Christmas, and as the top licensed electrician in Cypress we know that most of us in southern states aren't equipped to handle extremely cold weather.
Staying home and off icy roads is an obvious (though not always easy) solution. And, we can't do much about the infrastructure when it comes to above-ground wiring and bridges.
But, there are a few ways we can prepare for colder weather at home. Our friends over in Nassau County share these helpful tips:
Dressing appropriately is the best defense against the cold. If you have them, wearing heavier fabrics like wool and fleece is smart. If not, layering is your best bet. Silk is an excellent insulator worn close to the body, while nylon wind-breaker-type jackets are a perfect top layer to help keep wet, cold out and dry, warmth in. Don't forget to cover your head and hands, and keep your feet dry.
At Unity Services, we love our pets like family. When it gets cold, be sure to treat your pets the same as your people. Bring them inside, or adapt their outdoor environment for weather conditions by providing makeshift shelter and warmth. Plus, in Houston, it's a crime to leave your pets outside in the elements.
Protect Your Plants
Relocate sensitive plants when possible - even to a garage where the temperature might be low but they'll stay dry and out of the wind. For in-ground or large plants, cover them with tarps and blankets. Support the covering with stakes to avoid it from touching the leaves. This covering both protects from falling precipitation and also helps retain radiant heat from the ground. Be sure to remove the coverings when the temperature rises and the sun is out to allow your plants to refresh with warmth and sunlight.
Protect Your Pipes
Freezing water isn't just dangerous to drive on - it's also a main hazard in your home during cold weather. Any pipes that are above ground or on an exterior wall need to be addressed. Wrapping your pipes is the best plan. Home improvement stores sell special wraps for your outdoor hose bibs and faucets, but warm blankets and plastic bags make do in a pinch. Open the tap to relieve existing water pressure and drain the lines. If your home has a sink on an exterior wall, open the tap and allow it to drip - the air flow keeps the pipes pressurized and disallows buildup of water to freeze.
Practice Fire Safety
Fire is a dangerous risk during freezing weather. Before it's time to cuddle up with a good book in front of a roaring fireplace, do a maintenance check on your fireplace and surrounding areas. Check the flue and chimney, as well as any gas lines if it is a gas-fed fireplace. The use of space heaters is also a potential hazard. Follow all manufacturer instructions and provide proper ventilation and free space around the elements. Refrain from using outdoor appliances - like grills - inside.
And, of course, give us a call at Unity Services! As your local respected electrician in Houston, we offer complimentary electrical safety inspections for your home and can suggest areas of improvement or repairs that will help you and your family stay safe when Jack Frost comes to town.