While I’m not a big fan of winter, it has some benefits.
I am always relieved when there’s no more yardwork to worry about.
I no longer need to mow the lawn, weed the gardens, water the flowers or rake the leaves. I enjoy curling up inside with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate. I look forward to the Christmas holidays. However, the winter weather is always a challenge. In my local area, we endure very severe cold. For at least six months, the temperature remains below freezing and sometimes well below zero. We accumulate feet of snow that piles up in huge drifts. I’m forced to plow and shovel the driveway and sidewalks nearly every day. I need to dig out the mailbox and shovel a path for the dog to walk. Before I can go anywhere, it’s necessary to brush the snow off the car, scrape the windshield and let the engine warm up for at least fifteen minutes. One of the biggest challenges of winter is keeping a warm and comfortable home. Running the furnace costs a great deal of money. I set the thermostat as low as tolerable and take all sorts of energy saving precautions. I don’t want my heated air escaping through leaks or cracks. I’ve invested in all new, Energy Star rated windows for my house and spent a great deal of money on a new front door. I’ve gone around and carefully caulked around every window and weatherstripped every door. I’ve improved the level of insulation in the walls and ceilings and installed overhead fans to push the heated air toward the floor. I also hire an HVAC contractor to come to the house and service the furnace every fall. He thoroughly cleans, tunes and troubleshoots the heating system. He removes any buildup of contaminants within the inner workings, replaces any worn out parts, and verifies the safety of the heat exchanger. He tightens electrical connections, lubricates moving parts and inspects the duct system for holes, leaks at the seams and any accumulation of debris within the pipes. My efforts help to improve the comfort of my home, prevent furnace malfunction, ensure safety and trim monthly costs.