When you think of tough winters, North Carolina isn’t exactly the first state that pops to mind! But Asheville, NC, is located in the heart of the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountain ranges. Life can be a little more intense up this way! But don’t worry: with a few tips and tricks, you’ll stay warm and cozy – while enjoying the beautiful area we’re lucky enough to call “home.”
Ready to weather your first winter in Asheville? You will be when you:
1) Schedule a Heating System Checkup
Before you take the chill out of the air by turning on your heating system, call a certified tech in to take a look. They will make sure it is running properly and take care of any small problems that have the potential to become big – costly – problems down the road. The worst time to test out your heating system is on a cold day, so make sure to get this done ASAP!
It’s also a critical safety measure. Winter is a dangerous time of year in terms of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire. Checking your furnace or boiler system is essential in keeping you, your family, and your pets safe and sound.
And while you’re at it, make sure your tank is full and/or your wood pile stacked!
2) Clean Your Gutters
It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it! All that leaf and debris buildup and gunk can spell trouble when we get snow and ice. The weight can break your gutters or even lead to roof damage and/or basement leaks. Pressure washing is a great way to get this job done quickly and efficiently. Make sure you follow all directions to the letter or hire a service.
3) Look for Gaps and Cracks
Whether you have a door with a gap or a window that lets cold air flow in like a river, now’s the time to take care of it. Use weatherstripping – it’s inexpensive and easy to install yourself – or silicone caulk – which is equally cheap and simple. You can also invest in some thermal curtains to limit heat loss and repair any broken windows/doors.
4) Do Some Yard Work
Top items on your outside to-do list:
- Trim tree branches and limbs that hang over the house and/or any outbuildings and structures. When weighted with snow, they can break and cause some significant damage.
- Turn off and drain all outdoor water sources.
- Seal up cracks in driveways, walkways, and masonry/stonework. This will make it much easier to shovel and help you avoid damage to your paths, stairs, etc.
- Drain the fuel from your lawn and yard equipment (e.g. mowers) and store them in the garage or another safe area for the season.
- If you have a snowblower, make sure it’s in good repair and ready to serve when the snow flies.
What you don’t have to do: rake the leaves. Instead, use a mower with a mulching attachment. You’ll save yourself some work and feed your lawn invaluable nutrients. Spring will be here before we know it, and your yard will be in top shape when it does.
5) Stock Up On Supplies
Ready for winter? No? Head to the store! It’s a good idea to have:
- Battery powered radio and clock
- Extra batteries
- Non-perishable food items that don’t require cooking
- Extra pet food
- Extra water (general rule: 1 gallon per person per day)
- Salt or sand for the driveway/walkway/stairs
- Snow shovels
- Extra blankets
- Cold weather gear for the whole family
- First aid kit
Do not forget to stock up your car too. You’ll want flashlights, extra batteries, road flares, non-perishable food items, sand or cat litter for traction, a mini- or full-size shovel, blankets, and extra hats, mittens, and cold-weather gear.
Bonus Tip: Discover the Winter Wonderland That Is Asheville, North Carolina!
Staying warm and cozy inside is important, of course – but so is getting out there and enjoying the invigorating feel of winter. You’ll find nearby ski resorts like Cataloochee and Wolf Ridge, as well as the Moonshine Mountain Snow Tubing Park. Why not head for a winter hike at Bearwallow Mountain Trail, Lover’s’ Leap Loop Trail, or John Rock Trail?
There are also a host of indoor activities of which you can take advantage, including the Biltmore Estate, Asheville Art Museum, Colburn Earth Science Museum, or you can always experience culinary delights at one of Asheville’s terrific restaurants.
You’ll enjoy all the outdoor and the indoor delights that the city of Asheville offers. You may just find winter is your favorite season!
Mountain Air Mechanical can make sure it is a safe one too. Call us for tuneup or servicing and cross that task off your winter prep to-do list.