Winter driving lately has been a struggle for most people. Traffic has been backed up and slowed down as winter weather has worked its way through our region. One of the main causes of delays and accidents is black ice. According to Wikipedia, “black ice is a thin coating of glaze ice on a surface”, “the ice itself is not black, but visually transparent, allowing the often black road below to be seen though it”. Black ice is the same as regular ice; it is just easier to see through due to not having bubbles in it. When driving on black ice there are a few tips to help keep you safe. First remain calm. According to Wikihow, do not brake when on black ice, do as little as possible and let the car pass over the ice. De-accelerate by lifting your foot off the accelerator completely and keep the steering wheel in a fixed position. Also according to Wikihow, if you are on black ice look for areas of traction, snow-covered spots or spots with sand could give you increased traction. If you do lose traction and skid remember to steer the wheel in the direction you want to go, and if you end up losing control try to steer into things that will cause minimal damage. There are ways that you can minimize your encounters with black ice. Wikihow says you should travel slowly and remain a safe distance behind the car in front of you. Keep your windshield clear of ice, snow, and dirt and free of obstructions. Also remember to never use cruise control during icy conditions. Stay safe this winter.
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Your furnace is winterized and ready to go, but how can you help your furnace not run as much. One thing you can do is run your ceiling fans in reverse. Running ceiling fans in reverse causes the hotter air that is at the top of the room to be sent down towards the bottom of the room or house. According to Popular Mechanics, this could cut your heating cost up to ten percent.
Drafts from windows and doors can cause your furnace to work overtime as well. One simple way to block drafts is to roll up a towel or fabric and place it around door jams that are leaking heat. A more costly solution is installing storm doors and windows. Popular mechanics states that a door snake could save you between 5 and 30 percent on your heating, storm doors and windows can be up to 45%. This could be worth the extra money in the long run. Weather stripping could be a good middle ground between the two or extra reinforcements. In the same idea category, re-caulking around your windows can help as well. Both of these options are cost effected and usually easy to DIY. Worried about the look of your winterizing? Try heavier curtains. Heavier curtains can look stylish and help cut the draft sneaking through windows.
Keeping checking our blog this month as we continue to look at ways to winterize your home to keep you safe and save you money.