Beat the Cold - Ways to Stay Warm at Home and On The Go - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Feb 24, 2020

Beat the Cold - Ways to Stay Warm at Home and On The Go

Winter weather in New York State often consists of frigid temperatures and weather advisories. And while we can’t totally avoid the elements, there are a variety of ways to combat the cold. We’ve put together a guide to staying warm whether you’re at home, in the car, or doing outside activities. 

Staying Warm at Home

This one seems easy, right? Just crank the thermostat! Well, that may be a solution for some, but for others the cost of heating may weigh heavily on the mind. No fear! There are plenty of cost effective ways to stay warm at home:

  1. Dress in layers - Bundle up, even if you aren’t going outside. Wear a few under layers, and top with warm pants and a sweatshirt. If it’s especially cold, don’t be afraid to wear a hat inside as well. Avoid overheating by listening to your body when you feel too hot, and be sure to wear wool or “wicking” polyester layers closest to your skin; they will reduce the likelihood of you getting cold from sweat under all of those layers.
  2. Stay active in your home - Are there tasks you’ve been putting off that take a little extra elbow grease? If you’re cold inside, put yourself to work to increase your body temperature, at least temporarily. Again, wear those sweat-wicking layers to keep you warm while working.
  3. Find drafts - If you have an older home, or even a new home, you may find areas where cold air can enter. Places that are most prevalent are your entry doors, windows and basement. If you feel a draft coming in from the bottom of a door, roll a towel up and block the air from entering your home. If the draft is bad enough around a window that you won’t need to open for a while, a quick fix is to cover your windows with plastic wrap or any sort of barrier between your home and the window. Just don’t forget to have the issue fixed as well! Lastly, to avoid frozen pipes and help with overall temperature inside, make sure your basement is free of drafts entering from the outside. If you find any areas where air is getting in, try to insulate the area using foam insulation or fill the area with towels until you can have someone come in to fix the problem
  4. Create a warm atmosphere - If you can, hunker down with a hot cup of your favorite winter beverage and a blanket to stay warm. Fill your kitchen with warm inviting scents of homemade soup on the stove, or bake a favorite treat. Using your oven is also a way to add some warmth to your home, but never leave your oven open while it is on as this is a carbon monoxide risk for gas powered ovens, and a fire risk for both gas and electric ovens . 

Staying Warm on the Go

Unfortunately, we do still have to go outside sometimes - even in freezing temperatures. Here are a few things to remember while braving the elements:

  1. Tread carefully - Keep in mind, if you are cold, the ground is, too. Walk and drive carefully to avoid slipping on snow and ice beneath your feet and tires.
  2. Choose your socks wisely - Speaking of feet, are you wearing wool socks? Avoid wearing cotton socks in case water seeps through your shoes.  
  3. Again, dress in layers -If you’re outside shoveling, you might start out cold and end up warm, so be sure to have removable layers on.
  4. Keep your hands warm - If you’re going to be outside for a while, stuff your pockets and gloves with hand warmers for extra heat.
  5. Travel with an emergency kit - Remember to keep your emergency kit stocked in your vehicle. In the event you get stuck in cold temperatures, you want to be sure to have these items on hand! 
  6. Lastly, keep frostbite in mind - The colder it becomes, the faster you can get frostbite. Once it reaches below zero degrees, it takes about 30 minutes for exposed skin to get frostbite. At 15 below zero, with a little bit of wind, frostbite can happen within 15 minutes.

While we all hope Punxsutawney Phil won’t see his shadow in February, we also know winter weather in New York State lasts well into April. Keep these tips in mind when it comes to staying warm both at home and on the go!