Happy Home It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Winter

January 16, 2017 raguirre

Our holiday season may have been unseasonably warm, but you can bet there’s probably a freeze or two right around the corner. The good news? There’s still time to protect yourself, your home, and your vehicles from the harsh weather. We checked in with some local experts and they filled us in on what needs to be done and why you shouldn’t slack when it comes to winterizing.


Drive to Arrive

Keeping up with your car maintenance from oil to battery to tires is extremely important says Chip Carlsen of Pat Campbell Insurance. “We see a big increase in accidents during the winter months,” he says. “People go from a perfect driving record to a miserable one very quickly.”

One big no-no he sees is people letting some air out of their tires when it snows. “That’s a big fallacy and actually makes it less safe,” he adds. “Always maintain the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure.”

And don’t stop there. Make sure you’re following all these winter driving tips and check out the Pat Campbell website for more.


  •     Cold temperatures affect the way

your vehicle starts and runs. Make

sure fluid levels, particularly

anti-freeze, are topped off.

  •     Keep your gas tank as full as

possible (at least half full). Empty

tanks allow condensation and

moisture in the gas lines which can


  •     Make sure your tires have adequate

tread and are properly inflated.

  •     Have your vehicle checked to make

sure that the anti-lock brake system

(ABS) and any traction control system

(e.g., AWD) is working properly.

These systems won’t do you any

good if they are not functioning.

  •     Prepare an emergency kit to keep

in your vehicle. Include jumper

cables, a snow/ice scraper, a shovel,

deicer, a blanket, gloves, and even

boots. If you’re stranded, you’ll

appreciate the warmer clothing.

  •     Make sure your windshield and

windows are clear before leaving

your driveway or parking spot. You

may be in a hurry but dangerously

reduced peripheral vision is an

accident waiting to happen.

  •     Give your car a chance to warm up.

Oil needs to be lubricating your

pistons and coolant needs to flow

freely before you reach highway

speeds. Conserve gas and warm

your car up effectively by driving at

25 to 30 miles per hour for the first

mile or two instead of letting it idle in

the driveway for five minutes.

  •     Maintain safe distances and drive at

speeds appropriate for conditions.

  •     Should you become stranded, it is

usually best to stay with your vehicle

until help arrives.


Pat Campbell Insurance



The Year-Round Pool

Q&A with Frank Wells of Pools by Design


Can you really use a pool all year here?

Yes! Most pools these days have built-in freeze control. As the air temperature gets close to freezing, a pump turns on and circulates the water and moving water will not freeze. That’s going to protect your pool. You’ll also need a minimal amount of chlorine during the winter months. You will still need to watch the pH level and make sure that stays balanced.


Isn’t it too expensive to heat a pool during the winter?

It is inefficient to keep it heated all the time, but for a weekend or if you have guests staying with you, why not heat it up for a special occasion? This time of year, the water is probably about 50 degrees and you’ll need to get it about 85 to make it pleasant to swim. That’s about a 35 degree rise so you’ll probably want to start it up about 24 hours in advance. I’d also recommend putting on a solar blanket. (Find them at Discount Pools & Spas, discountpoolslc.com). Heating for just a day or two will probably cost you about $50. That’s about the same as a dinner out, so why not trade that in for special swimming experience?


What if I don’t want to use it during the winter?

None of my customers completely shut theirs down during the winter. We’ll let it circulate about five hours per day so it’s still filtering and moving the water. Pools are generally very easy to maintain in the winter. There’s not a whole lot of wind and no algae. We keep up our maintenance routes, but don’t need to service or clean as often. You don’t even have to cover it, so you’ll still get to enjoy the beauty of it when you look out your window. When spring comes around, there’s no hassle, it’s already clean and ready to go.


Pools By Design



The Home Checklist

“Winterizing homes during colder weather months should not be overlooked as it helps homeowners and businesses alike to save energy, money, and avoid unnecessary repairs due to freezing temperatures,” Says Ron Reynolds, district manager at Zia Natural Gas. “Furthermore, each of us has a responsibility to the next generation to have due diligence in the reduction of greenhouse gasses. Through winterizing and reduction of energy consumption as well as the safe reliable use of natural gas we can be responsible for not only ourselves but preserve the integrity of our planet for generations to come.”


  •     Check the attic, walls and basement

for adequate insulation.

  •     Feel around electrical outlets and

switch plates for cold air, add

insulation where necessary.

  •     Look around doors and windows for

gaps and potential places where

warm air can escape.

  •     Caulk or apply weather stripping

around problem draft areas.

  •     Consider replacing windows with

energy efficient double paned


  •     Clean gutters and down spouts in

mid-fall and double check them

before winter.

  •     Have a contractor look for damaged

roof shingles and loose gutters.

  •     Replace the filter in your furnace.


  •     Have a heating and cooling expert

look at your furnace if you are unsure

of its efficiency.

  •     Have chimneys and woodstoves

cleaned early in the season.

  •     Test the flue for each fireplace for

a tight seal when closed.

  •     Close any vents in your home that

may have been opened for the warm


  •     Disconnect hoses from outside

faucets and turn off the water.


Zia Natural Gas

3700 W. Picacho Ave.


The post Happy Home It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Winter appeared first on Las Cruces Magazine.

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