Depending on how well-prepared you are, winter in Denver can either be a struggle or a blast. On the one hand, you can enjoy having snowball fights, building snow sculptures, and cozying up next to the fire with a warm cup of cocoa. On the other hand, you can find yourself the victim of countless winter dangers and the recipient of very expensive heating, health, and auto bills. To experience less of the latter and more of the former, here are three tips to help you prepare for the winter.
1. Clean Out Your HVAC Filter
It’s important to keep your filter clean throughout the whole year. Be sure to check it every month, if possible. If that’s too frequent for your schedule, try checking it every three months. Clean it as thoroughly as you can if it looks dirty during these inspections.
However, if you have to really pick and choose the months in which you take the time to go through this process, be sure to pick the months with the harshest weather conditions in winter. Your HVAC is meant to help keep your Denver home at a comfortable temperature. That is, the system will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It can’t do that as well if its filters are dirty.
In addition, there are a few more downsides to a dirty air filter. Your HVAC will have to work harder to perform its job if it’s not clean, and it will need to use up more energy to do so. This means you’ll be stuck with a larger energy bill. A dirty air filter can also be dangerous. The hair, dust, and other particles trapped inside your system can catch on fire when heated. Keep your family and home safe by staying on top of filter cleanings.
2. Prepare Your Vehicle for the Snow and Ice
Most cars need some kind of modification before they are ready to take on the winter. Drivers in Denver should consider getting snow tires or some kind of snow chains for their vehicles. If this is too expensive, you should at least check to make sure your car is in optimal winter condition. Regularly check your tires to make sure that they have enough tread and are inflated properly. It’s also essential to make sure that your car’s battery is well-maintained, as the cold weather can cause an old battery to die.
With Denver’s winter weather, you could easily be one of the 76,000 people who are injured in snow or sleet vehicle crashes yearly. Not only can these disasters cause serious injury, but they can also cost you thousands of dollars. The New York State Department of Transportation has stated that accidents on the lower end can cost a whopping $15,000 and, on the higher end, $63,000. Most of these, however, will cost around $30,000 to $40,000.
3. Prepare Yourself for the Worst
Given the unpredictability of the weather, it’s important to be prepared. Make sure that your home and car have the essentials to keep you comfortable in the harsher, colder elements. Inspect your heater to make sure that it is working optimally. You should also make sure you keep blankets, emergency food, and other necessary items inside your vehicle and home. This may seem unnecessary for shorter trips, however, you never know when you might get stuck in the snow. You may end up getting stuck somewhere for a long period of time, so it’s best to be totally prepared. Making sure your home is well-stocked is crucial, too, because you never know when a winter weather system will prevent you from leaving the house.
Winter weather can be treacherous, especially in Denver. Don’t let yourself or your family suffer when so many risks can be mitigated with proper preparation. Make sure that your home and car are well-kept, fully winterized, and ready for anything this winter. Stay warm and stay safe!