Whether winter for you lasts eight months of the year or simply means that you sometimes need to wear pants instead of shorts, there are certain things that would be wise to have on hand. Even in warm climates, a sudden cold snap can cripple an unprepared house. Keep reading for some winter home must haves.
Air Conditioner Covers
Your outdoor home air conditioning unit is built to handle the outdoors, but ice is a dangerous thing. Air conditioning units can be severely damaged by falling icicles or other debris that ice brings crashing down. A sheet of plywood across the top of it with some bricks to hold it down will keep your unit from suffering damage. Or perhaps you have room air conditioning units? Cold air loves those. If you can’t detach and remove your window unit, then have a tarp or window unit cover that you can affix to the outside of your air conditioner. Be sure the seams of your unit are all caulked and sealed on the inside, too!
It’s not uncommon for the basics to be overlooked! A good, reliable snow shovel is a priceless tool to have on hand. There are a variety to choose from, depending on the amount of snow you’re likely to deal with and your strength. Don’t wait until the snow rolls in to hurry to the store in hopes that all the snow shovels haven’t been bought out.
It’s the rare winter where the power doesn’t go out at least once. Rather than using your cell phone’s flashlight and draining your battery, have alternative light sources on hand. This can be candles, oil lamps, or flashlights. They won’t be useful long without additional fuel for them, however, so store your backup lights with the battery, oil, or matches they need to be used for multiple days.
You might live where it snows once a decade, or maybe you don’t see the ground from October through April. Either way, you should have good, warm clothing on hand. Hats, mittens, and scarves are great for outdoor bundles, but wearable underlayers are the way to go for keeping warm all day long. While a variety of polysynthetic materials are available, you really can’t beat natural fibers such as wool and silk. They are the best at keeping you warm without overheating, and wicking away moisture and sweat.
Ice melt lowers the freezing point of ice, both preventing ice build-up and breaking ice up into a slush. It can be used preventatively to make your sidewalks and driveways easier to clear. Pour it on iced over windshields and car doors to double your ice scraping efforts. Typically made from calcium chloride, there are ice melts available that are food-safe and pet-friendly if that is a concern.
There are nights where you just can’t seem to warm up, and that’s when a heated blanket comes in handy. These flannel-lined electric blankets will warm up your bed prior to you tucking in. Look for a heated blanket with a timer function, for safety purposes. You can also find heated blankets that plug into your car adapter port, for those emergencies when extra warmth isn’t so much a matter of comfort as it is survivability.
Ice cleats are metal treads attached to a rubber sleeve that can stretch over the sole of your shoe. They help you get overy icy or snowy pavement or gravel surfaces by providing the traction that standard rubber soles just can’t give. As an added bonus, they are removable and compact. So when you get to your destination, you can remove them, roll them up, and stick them in your bag without hassle.
When it comes to blankets that are lightweight, warm, and affordable, nothing beats a fleece blanket. They do not shed or wrinkle, are washable, and are available just about everywhere. While knitted wool blankets might be top of the pile, it is unrealistic to have one for every person in the household and extras in vehicles for emergencies. Fleece blankets heat up quickly and take up very little space, making them irreplaceable during winter months.