Cold Weather Tips

Get ready for chilly weather… while staying warm and cozy.

At Home

  1. Install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. 
    Perform a routine test of your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. Update batteries as needed, check expiration dates for each detector and make sure you have detectors on each floor of your home.

  2. Never use your oven or range top to heat your home.

  3. Replace your air/furnace filter every month during the heating season. 

  4. Open and close curtains, shades, and blinds strategically.
    Don’t leave your windows untouched! Get into the habit of opening window treatments in the morning (especially where you receive direct sunlight) to let as much sun into your house as possible. When late afternoon rolls around, close curtains and shades to keep the heat in.

  5. Seal drafty windows and doors.
    Applying weather stripping or insulation around door frames or replace old, cracked, or improperly hung windows.

  6. Keep windows clean and remove the screens.
    Regularly remove dirt, dust, and grime from your windows is an easy way to allow in more light (and heat) during the day.

  7. Lower the temperature on your water heater.
    Keeping the temperature right around or just above 120 °F still gives you plenty of hot water. (Water for a bath is typically around 100 °F.)

  8. Wash laundry in cold or warm water instead of hot.
    Making the switch from hot water to warm on your washing machine can cut a load of laundry’s energy use in half, according to the Department of Energy.

  9. Vacuum forced-air grates.
    Vacuum the intake register covers, which are usually located on the floor or along your baseboards. Better airflow prevents warm air from getting trapped in the ventilation, allowing it to travel to the places where you need it.

    Take 5 minutes & check out the Instant Home Energy Analysis to quickly learn ways to reduce your energy usage.

How To Avoid Frozen Pipes:

  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and night. If you plan to be away, leave your heat on and set to a temperature no lower than 60° F .

  • Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch – use a hair dryer instead.

  • Further protect exposed pipes by insulating them with this DIY tutorial from the Department of Energy.

  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to reach the plumbing (be sure to move any cleaners or chemicals out of the reach of children and pets).

  • If you are leaving the property for an extended period, consider turning off your water supply at your home’s main valve. Be sure to drain pipes by turning on the faucets. Also, leave the heat on when not home.

  • Keep garage doors closed, especially if you have water supply lines in the garage.

  • If You Experience a Burst Pipe:
    Immediately turn off the water at your main valve. It's a good idea to locate this valve ahead of time.



Enjoy the outdoors for short periods of time during cold weather. It will lift your mood and you’ll get a dose of vitamin D.

  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing, and a hat.

  • Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.

  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold.

  • Make sure all of your skin is covered.

  • Try to stay dry and out of the wind.

  • If you’re too cold, it’s time to go indoors.


On the Road

Before the cold weather hits, be sure to pack a winter emergency car kit that includes:

  • Ice scraper & snow brush

  • Portable shovel

  • Bag of sand or kitty litter for traction on slippery surfaces

  • Hazard triangles and/or LED flashers

  • Flashlight with fresh batteries

  • Jumper cables

  • Blankets and extra cold weather clothing

  • Water and snacks

  • First-aid kit

  • Be sure to prep your car for the cold weather by checking your battery, fluid and tires.

For more tips, visit Conserve.

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