Keeping warm in frigid temperatures

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - So far it's been a record breaking year for weather.  These first few days of January are the sixth coldest in history.

With lower temperatures on the way, many people are trying to find ways to stay warm.

The frigid temperatures are heating up business at O'Brien's Service Company, a heating and cooling service.  Employees said they are making five times as many calls a day.

They say to prevent them from coming to your house, it's best to have your heater serviced once a year.

Workers at Great Outdoor Provision say to wear clothing that will prevent you from sweating.

"So for base layers you want to wear something like this long underwear," said Tim Glover. "That works really well. It helps absorb sweat."

Glover said it's good to wear wool or synthetic socks and a hat to keep the heat in your body.

As the temperatures dip below freezing, more Carolina motorists are waking up to car troubles.

AAA say they received 45% more calls Monday related to battery trouble, compared with the past four Mondays.

They expect a heavy demand for jump-starts to continue for several days as predications of sub-freezing temperatures roll in overnight and in the morning hours.  Batteries require more cranking amps in colder weather, reducing their charge and ability to crank an engine.

AAA Carolinas recommends the following precautions during periods of extreme cold:

  • Take the time to have your battery¹s charge and cold cranking amps checked.
  • Check your batteries connections for corrosion.  When starting your car in the morning, turn on electricity first and wait 30 seconds for the battery to warm up before starting.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid freezing gas lines.
  • Thinner grades of oil are better for colder weather, opt for 5W-30 over 10W-30.
  • Check tire pressure every one to two weeks as low temperatures can reduce tire pressure and will limit control on slick roads.
  • Never use wiper blades to clear ice or frost as this damages the blades.
  • Use a scraper or can de-icer.  Make sure all windows are clear for best visibility.
  • Never warm up your car in a closed garage, carbon monoxide poisoning is possible.  It is also illegal to warm up your car parked on public streets in some counties, when the driver is not in the car.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car.  Make sure it includes a mobile phone, car charger, blankets, flashlight with extra batteries, a first aid kit, drinking water, a small shovel, a sack of sand or cat litter for traction, windshield scraper, battery booster cables, emergency reflectors, and non-perishable snacks.

While getting your car to start in cold temperatures is important, you should also have a warm,safe location for your pets.

New Hanover County ordinance requires that outdoor dogs have shelter provided, inclusive of a top, three sides, and a floor.  It's also a good idea to add bedding during colder weather.

While the best location for pets is indoors, but that is not always possible.  Be sure to check water bowls for freezing.

Think of your pets as family members, so you don't forget their needs during these chilly winter days.

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