Of all the weather that Canton experiences, winter storms are perhaps the most intimidating. Given the large number of difficult conditions that a winter storm can bring — cold temperatures, high winds, and heavy snow — it’s easy to see why you should take winter storm preparation so seriously. At Green Energy Mechanical Inc, we want to help our customers stay safe in all types of weather. That’s why we’d like to help you prepare for potential winter storms by providing these safety tips.
Check the Weather
Just like other types of storms, a winter storm’s characteristics can change rapidly. Given the variety of risks associated with a winter storm, it’s important to keep a close eye on the weather so that you don’t get caught in dangerous conditions. Depending on the severity of the storm, conditions can deteriorate in as little as five minutes, meaning that you can’t base a future weather prediction on what’s currently happening outside. If you can, set your phone to provide weather alerts so that you’re always aware of any impending problems.
Dress in Layers
Frigid temperatures are one hallmark of many winter storms. Staying warm in these temperatures, especially when you’re outside, can be tricky. When the professionals at Green Energy Mechanical Inc have to be outside in cold weather, they stay warm by dressing in layers. This approach can work for anyone, whether you’re performing HVAC repairs or making a quick trip to the grocery store. Choose a base layer made of either polyester or wool. Outer layers should provide plenty of insulation yet be easy to remove if you begin to sweat.
Know When to Hunker Down
One of the most important tips to keep in mind when a winter storm strikes is that you don’t have to be a hero. There aren’t many good reasons to risk your life, and few obligations are important enough for you to venture out during a violent winter storm. If wind and snow are predicted at the same time, for example, it’s probably best to stay home to avoid getting caught in a limited-visibility situation. Even though it can be frustrating to get behind on your responsibilities, it’s worth doing so to preserve your safety.
Have the Right Supplies
While staying at home during the worst of the weather, you’ll want to be sure that you have the right supplies to ride out the storm. Specifically, you’ll need to have an emergency preparedness kit on hand so that you can take care of any small emergencies that might arise. Your kit should include first aid essentials, a flashlight, extra batteries, basic food supplies, bottled water, and an emergency weather radio. Keep your kit in a location that’s easy to access if you need to take care of a problem quickly.
Keep Your Pipes Flowing
Another issue you may run into during a winter storm is frozen pipes. If the air around the pipes in your home becomes too cold, it can be easy for the water in the pipes to freeze, cutting off your water supply and potentially bursting your pipes. Before a storm arrives, make sure that your pipes are properly insulated to prevent heat loss as much as possible. During the coldest weather, make sure to leave your faucets dripping, and keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around your pipes.
Stock Some Extra Necessities
Part of the challenge of a winter storm is that the effects can linger for several days. To ensure that you are comfortable while you’re waiting for the snow to melt, it’s best to stock up on some extra necessities before the storm hits. Make sure that your refrigerator and freezer are well-stocked so that you can enjoy fresh meals without needing to go to the grocery store. Other supplies, like toilet paper, paper towels, pet food, and various must-haves, are also good to add to your pre-storm shopping list.
Charge Your Electronic Devices
For most people, the best way to receive emergency weather alerts is via their smartphones. Of course, if your power goes out, your ability to receive these alerts will be limited to the duration of your battery. That’s why we recommend keeping your electronic devices plugged in as much as possible while you still have electricity. Once it goes out, you’ll have to suddenly depend on battery power alone. If you do lose power, make sure to place your smartphone in low-power mode so that you can conserve your battery for as long as possible. You should also make sure that you have a working phone charger for your car since you can use this charging method if you desperately need some extra battery power.
Keep Track of Harmful Substances
During especially heavy and wet snows, you may be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. That’s because the snow could block your furnace’s flue and allow carbon monoxide and other harmful substances to find their way back into your home. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s vital to have at least one carbon monoxide detector installed on every floor of your house. Additionally, if you have a fireplace that you’re using to add some extra warmth to your living area, make sure that you have working smoke detectors to alert you if there’s a problem.
Watch for Hypothermia
If you have to go out during a winter storm, especially if you have to work outside, there’s always a risk of hypothermia. The best way to avoid hypothermia is to understand the symptoms so that you can catch the problem early. If you notice shivering, confusion, fumbling hands, drowsiness, or other similar symptoms, you could be experiencing the onset of hypothermia. Get inside immediately, and remove any wet clothing. Cover yourself with blankets so that your body can regain heat, and monitor your breathing to make sure it returns to normal.
Prepare Your HVAC System
While we can’t help you with all of your winter preparations, one area Green Energy Mechanical Inc can help with is preparing your HVAC system. You can be sure that your furnace will be working hard to keep your home comfortable when the temperature drops, so it’s best to get it a tune-up beforehand. You’ll want to make certain it responds quickly when a storm is expected. If it seems to be struggling, give us a call so that we can perform any necessary repairs. Also, make sure that you have a clean air filter in place so that your system doesn’t overheat.
Prepare Well in Advance
At Green Energy Mechanical Inc, we believe in being ready for anything Mother Nature throws your way. That’s why we provide top-notch repair, maintenance, and installation services for furnaces and air conditioners. We can also install water heaters and perform various electrical upgrades and repairs. We repair and replace ductwork as well. For over 10 years, the people of Canton have trusted us with their home’s comfort during every season. Our A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and our five-star reviews attest to our success in carrying out our mission. To learn more about preparing for winter storms, contact the experts at Green Energy Mechanical Inc today.