While this winter season hasn’t been too harsh for Thomasville, colder weather is anticipated to hit our area next week with a low of 29 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, January 20.
“With cold weather coming, we wanted to remind our customers of some cold weather tips and ways that they can save while still staying warm,” said Chelsie Cosby, Customer Experience Liaison, “We also want to ensure the safety and comfort of all members of our community.”
There are many steps customers can take to save on their utilities with little, if any, associated costs. Some helpful tips for winter months include:
- Set your thermostat between 66-68 degrees and even lower, or completely off, when you’re away.
- Close warm air supply registers for rooms that aren’t in use.
- Check your heating ducts to ensure there are no leaks.
- Check your windows and doors for leaks. Caulking or weather stripping doors and windows can help seal air leaks and prevent cold air from coming inside.
- Clean/change filters to your heating/air conditioning system(s).
- Take advantage of heat from the sun by opening shades and drapes for sun-facing windows to let the sun help heat your home. Close these at night or during overcast days to help insulate your home from the cold.
- Dress in warmer clothes and use additional layers to help insulate and keep in your body heat. Adding extra blankets to your bed at night can also help keep you warm.
- Cover drafts where you can. An easy and inexpensive way to cover your windows is with heavy-duty clear plastic sheets on the frame. Just make sure the plastic is tightly sealed to the frame.
- Reduce heat loss from your fireplace. Make sure the damper is closed unless you’ve got a fire burning. Otherwise, you’re letting all your warm air go right up the chimney.
- If you don’t use your fireplace at all, plug and seal the chimney flue.
“These small changes can yield big savings, especially when we experience a particularly cold winter snap like we did around this time last year,” Cosby said.
As far as ensuring your family is safe during particularly cold weather, the City of Thomasville offers these winter weather tips:
- Protect your family by having a communications plan. Limit travel during hazardous weather conditions and make sure you check on friends and family (particularly the elderly) that may live alone and might need help preparing for the winter weather.
- Protect your property from water damage resulting from burst water pipes by taking the following precautions:
- Run a water faucet at a thin stream when temperatures are expected to be below freezing.
- Use insulating materials to cover pipes in exposed or unheated areas. Homes with crawl spaces are particularly susceptible to wind and freezing temperatures, so outdoor pipes should be protected from the elements.
- Insulate or cover exposed backflow prevention devices on fire lines and irrigation systems.
- Drain and remove all outdoor hoses.
- Caulk around pipes where they enter the house.
- Shut off and drain in-ground sprinkler systems.
- Know where your water shut offs are just in case pipes freeze.
- Prepare for power outages due to inclement weather by making sure you have food, flashlights and other heating sources and/or extra blankets. Use caution when using candles or supplemental heating options such as space heaters, kerosene heaters, or fireplaces to protect against fire danger. Thomasville Fire Rescue also offers these fire safety tips for customers using supplemental heating during the cold weather:
- Make sure all combustible materials, such as drapes or chairs, are at least three feet away from any heating unit.
- Avoid using flammable liquids to start fireplaces, and never leave a fireplace unattended.
- Plug electric-powered space heaters directly into an outlet with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
- Have a working carbon monoxide detector if you use gas or propane heat.
- Turn off portable heaters when you leave the room and when you go to bed.
- Check smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly. Thomasville Fire Rescue provides free smoke detectors to residents. Call TFR at 227-4099 to schedule installation or to have your current smoke detectors tested, free of charge.
- Use safety precautions when using generators, candles, or lanterns with a flame during outages. Generator users must be sure they have disconnected the main breaker, as this can be dangerous for utility linemen.
- Be aware of standing water that can freeze during cold temperatures. Make sure you are using handrails and taking extra precautions to maintain safe footing on steps and walkways that could be slippery due to icing.
- Bring outdoor pets inside when temperatures are low, particularly when winter precipitation is expected.
“As of now, there is no severely cold weather forecasted,” Cosby said, “However, it’s important to be prepared should a cold snap occur.” For more information on ways to save or to be better prepared for winter weather, visit our website at Thomasville.org or call the Customer Care department at 227-7001.