Monday, January 13, 2020

10 Life-Hacks for Surviving Winter in New England

Bleak, Arctic, Brutal—Those are just some of the words used to describe winters in New England. After the holiday d├ęcor gets wrapped up, we enter into a period of mystery weather which can range from sunny, 55 degree days to blizzard conditions dumping up to three feet of snow followed by miserable winds and ice. Our catchphrase does seem most accurate during winter: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.”

Winter in New England is unpredictable, to say the least. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite Winter Hacks, which just may come in handy if you’re snowed in, short of a shovel, lost power, looking to save on heating costs, or just plain looking to impress with your MacGyver-like skills.

1. Cooking Spray: Not just for the kitchen! Use it to lubricate shovels for particularly sticky snow, or use it to unclog your snow blower by spraying the dry auger and inside the discharge chute.
2. Survival Kit: Make sure you keep the essentials in your car! A shovel, bucket of sand or box of cat litter, wool blanket, change of socks, and snow brush are a great start and will all come in handy if you’re traveling during a tricky weather situation.
3. Alcohol: Rubbing alcohol has many uses when it comes to de-icing. Mix 1 part water to 2 parts rubbing alcohol for a quick de-icing solution for windshields, locks, and more. For walkways, use ½ gallon of hot water, and 1 teaspoon each of rubbing alcohol and dishwashing liquid.

4. Flowerpot Space Heater: You can very easily make a space heater using a flower pot and some tea lights. Particularly handy if you lose power, or are looking to save on heating costs! 

5. Insulate: Use thick curtains or old quilts over your windows to help keep the heat in. You can also tape bubble wrap around your windows to help stave off any drafts, and line window/door jams with newspaper.

6. Socks: Place socks on your windshield wipers to prevent ice buildup. Wearing a pair of socks over your snow boots (yes, OVER them) will help create better traction in icy situations. So keep a pair or two in your car!

7. Tinfoil: You can place sheets of tinfoil behind radiators to help reflect the heat back into the room, rather than into the wall. Make sure you do not use anything flammable to secure it.

8. Reverse Ceiling Fans: Flip the switch on your ceiling fans to help circulate rising heat back down into your home. This will ensure you are using the existing heat to max capacity, thus cutting your heating bills down.

9. Humidify: Keep a pot or tea kettle of water boiling to cut down on dryness in the air. Add mulling spices for a nice scent. Take shorter, lukewarm showers to prevent dry skin. Leave bathwater in the tub until it cools to room temperature to help humidify the air.

10. Keep Mirrors Clean: You can use shaving cream to de-fog/prevent fog on mirrors; simply clean the surface with shaving cream and buff with a clean towel for fogless mirrors lasting up to two weeks. Enclose car mirrors with Ziploc bags to prevent icy mirrors in the morning.

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