Living in the city can be a great way to achieve new career opportunities, make new friends, and take advantage of the fun stuff that an urban environment has to offer. But if you’re not used to living in a big city during the winter, it’s natural to be surprised by the snow that’s yet to come.
After all, it’s not easy navigating the countless streets around you when your environment changes. On top of that, preparing your home for the winter offers a slew of items on your checklist to cross off. Compared to living out in the country or the suburbs, winter living in the city can look vastly different. If you’re not prepared for your city’s form of winter living, you could get buried in snow (both literally and metaphorically).
If you’ve recently moved to a city, have no fear: there are a lot of ways to survive your first winter in a new city. Here are some of the best ways you can prepare for the colder weather that’s going to come.
Get your car inspected
If you’re preparing for your first winter ever there are a few things you should know about winter driving. It’s incredibly different from driving in the warm, sunny weather that you’re used to.
First off, winter driving means that you have to be a lot more careful on the road. Practicing your defensive driving is one of the best ways to stay safe on the road. Slowing down your car and breaking a little earlier is recommended, along with taking wider turns so you don’t spin out. Snow and ice make it difficult for your car’s tires to grip the road. It’s not uncommon for drivers from warm areas to struggle when it comes to winter driving. As such, keeping the number of a quality emergency towing company in your phone is highly recommended. The last thing you want is to be stranded in a blizzard, even if it is in the city where plenty of people are around.
You’ll also want to have a pair of sunglasses handy. You might think that you don’t need these accessories in the winter, but the glare from the sun can damage your eyes when it reflects off of the snow. In many cases were snowplows haven’t come through, it can be blinding. This can cause accidents and injure your eyes if you’re not careful.
The most important thing you should do is get your car inspected and updated if needed. Most drivers that are used to winter living are willing to exchange their car’s summer tires for heavier, more durable winter models. They will also make the effort to repair any cracks in their auto glass since the pressure differences inside and outside of the car can make these cracks worse. Get your fluids topped off, clean your car regularly to prevent salt from forming rust, and see if you can merge your auto insurance with your property insurance attorney. Bundling these items can make all the difference when it comes to expensive winter accidents.
Along with getting your car looked at, you should also invest in extra fluids. The last thing you want is for your windshield wiper fluid to run out when you’re zipping down the highway. Always have a spare snowbrush in the back seat to clean off your car before you drive and don’t forget to invest in car seat warmers if you need them. Those with leather car seats can be very uncomfortable when the cold weather finally hits. Your car doesn’t need to have luxury heating pads, but even a cotton cover can make driving a little safer since you won’t be distracted by the cold.
Finally, you should also know to store your car properly in the winter. Between road salt, snow, and hail, there are countless environmental factors that can harm your car in the winter. Keeping it safely tucked behind your garage door can reduce the risk for your car getting damaged. If you haven’t already, contacting a garage door company can seal your garage to prevent these environmental issues from impacting your ride.
Winter living means that you need to put in a little extra effort. Keep in mind that most cities have snowplows running nonstop and most newer models are decked out with the best snowplow equipment to keep your community safe. But taking these extra precautions is essential in the event of an emergency, like a sudden snow storm. If you want to keep your car safe, rely on these tips to make the most of your city life during the winter.
Is your home ready?
If you’ve moved to the city for the first time, you might not know how insulated your home is. Home insulation is important when it comes to keeping warm air in and cold air out. If you have poor home insulation, you’ll likely have higher gas and electric bills. You might also need to contact HVAC repair companies more often since harder working HVAC units don’t last as long. Investing in the proper home insulation against frigid winter weather will help you feel more comfortable and keep money in your wallet. Just be sure to clean your HVAC unit regularly since dust and debris accumulation can also impact how well your system is working. While it’s natural to pay more in gas and electric bills during the winter, an outrageous bill should never surprise you. If you happen to live in an apartment complex, talking to your landlord about your crazy bills is highly recommended.
You can insulate your home by investing in concrete sealing in your basement and installing spray foam insulation in your attic. These are two of the most temperamental areas of your home since this is where leaks often occur. Sealing the cracks in your basement will also prevent moisture from impacting the integrity of your home’s foundation. While these are issues you might not think about down south, they’re major concerns for those used to winter living in the north.
You might need to invest in residential windows repairs if there are cracks or gaps from older models, too. Though insulation does a great job at protecting your home from losing heat, your windows are another serious culprit. Older single-pane windows are notorious for allowing warm air to seep out and cold air to come in. It’s recommended that you invest in quality double-pane windows as an added buffer against the wind and cold. The same can be said for your doors, since these items are infamous for under-the-door gaps that let in cold air. For these, you can either invest in a new door or try out one of those door barriers that tuck beneath your door to stop the draft from getting in.
If you’re still having issues with the cold, there might be other factors at play. Many homes stay drafty because there are issues with the roof or floors of your home. Rely on an experienced company that offers top-notch roofing services to inspect your roof. The sooner you can do this, the better. After all, it’s far more dangerous for a roofing company to traverse the top of your home when it’s covered in snow. Hiring these experts in advance will ensure your safety and give you more time to repair any holes, valleys, or other issues before winter weather sets in. You might opt for an entirely new roof if your current asphalt roof hasn’t been replaced for more than 20 years. While roofs have long lifespans, they do need to get replaced every once in a while. A patch job might allow you to survive the winter, but it’s important that you invest in these expensive repairs sooner than later. Otherwise, they might create worse problems down the line.
Preparing your home for the upcoming season of winter living is harder than it looks. Along with making any necessary repairs, you should also perform a home inspection to seal any gaps from cold air and rodents alike. Pest control might become even more necessary since urban environments are prone to rat problems and bug problems. Sealing points of entry will prevent these pests from seeking warmth in your home. Just be sure to rely on the pros when it’s time to take on these more serious projects.
A final note: you should also invest in some easy-to-clean doormats and rugs. Snow can create issues when it takes too long for the water to dry. On top of that, the salt, contaminants, and other debris found in the snow can make your entryway look run-down. Carpet cleaning services can help your carpet look as good as new, but investing in washable options will help maintain your rug better in the long run.
Who said winter living is easy? When you’re ready to take on a new environment, rely on these tips to prepare your home.
What about your body?
Everyone knows that taking care of your health in the winter is a lot harder than in the summer. After all, it’s not like you can go for a jog or take a dip in the pool to get your regular exercise. When you’re living in the city, you’ll be able to go for walks more often than living in the country since sidewalks and city streets are regularly plowed. But if you’re trying to get even more active, taking care of your health is essential when winter living finally settles into your city.
After all, winter is a time for delectable treats, holiday parties, and movie marathons tucked under the covers. Here are some of the best ways you can maintain your health as you experience winter living for the first time in the city:
- Watch your alcohol intake: This is good advice for everyone. Overindulging in alcohol can lead to weight gain, lethargy, and a slew of other problems if you’re not careful. Because the holidays are associated with letting loose and indulging in the finer things, it’s important to moderate your consumption and never drink and drive. When this happens, you’ll need to hire a DUI defense attorney and pay considerable sums in fines. When you moderate your drinking, you’ll have more energy, less seasonal depression, and a healthier lifestyle overall.
- Get outside when you can: It’s tempting to spend all winter indoors, especially when the cold hurts your face. But humans most frequently get vitamin D from the sun. If you’re able to, getting outside once a day is highly recommended for your mental and physical health. Take in some sunshine by going on a socially-distant walk or taking your puppy around the block. Getting outdoors will be great if you’re falling into a winter living slump.
- Take it easy on the sweet treats: As we enter winter, just about everyone is looking forward to indulging on Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holidays. Just about all of these celebrations will have unhealthy, but delicious food to choose from. While it’s okay to indulge on occasion, you shouldn’t be relying on these baked goods nad savory treats to sustain you. Eat smaller portions of your favorite unhealthy food to balance your cravings with your health.
- Rely on at-home workouts to move around: Most gyms are still closed or operating at lower capacities because of the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re a gym rat in the winter, you’ll have to change up your hobby for the colder weather. Rely on free online workouts or attend virtual classes to keep your body healthy. It might not be the same as going hard at the gym, but it’s a great way to get your body moving regardless.
Winter living made easy
Moving to the city is a big responsibility, especially if you’ve never encountered the stressors of winter living. Before you experience your first winter in a new city, rely on these tips to help it go a little easier.