In the Pittsburgh area, it’s that time of year when the weather is getting colder but is still in flux. We might be chilly in the morning, warm by afternoon, and back to shivering once the sun goes down. It can be challenging to our maintain comfort, as the temperature, humidity, and amount of sunshine vary throughout the day.
For many, this isn’t our favorite time of year, at least weather-wise. But here are eight ways to make the most of the season and its unpredictable weather.
If you’ve lived in Western Pennsylvania for any length of time, you already know this trick. (Although, the men around here who seem to wear shorts and hoodies year-round would indicate otherwise!) Dressing in layers allows you to add and subtract garments throughout the day, as needed. In the morning, instead of putting on one, heavy, cold-weather item like a thick sweater, wear several light-to medium-weight garments and add a jacket. As the day goes on and the temp goes up, peel the layers off one at a time until you get comfortable. But keep those items handy! You’ll likely put them back on later in the day when it cools off as the sun goes down.
Use a High-Quality Air Filter
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the air quality inside our homes is typically more polluted than the air outside! And now that our furnaces are kicking on every day, the air inside our homes becomes far dryer, which is one of the reasons for the spread of colds, flu, and other illnesses over the colder months. Be sure to schedule seasonal maintenance for your furnace and check the air filters monthly. Use high-quality HEPA (high-efficiency particle air) filters, which are designed to remove 99.97% of airborne particles, which includes common allergens and bacteria, as well as some viruses.
Using clean HEPA filters can dramatically improve your family’s overall health and keep everyone feeling comfortable and well.
Grab Some Daylight
Between the days growing shorter and living in the cloudiest area in the U.S., fall and winter can be very difficult people who have been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, and it’s of a downer for everyone else, as well. But carve out a few minutes during each day to step outside and soak in a bit of sunlight to boost your mood, which impacts your overall mental and physical health.
Install a Smart Thermostat
It’s a smart technology world, so let your devices do some of the heavy lifting for you. When you have a smart thermostat, it’s much easier to keep your indoor environment at a comfortable temperature. Instead of making manual adjustments, smart thermostats monitor the temperature and adjust accordingly, even when you are not at home! In fact, most allow you to adjust thermostat settings remotely with an app on your phone. For more reasons why you should install a smart thermostat, visit our article on how they work.
We typically associate the need to hydrate with replenishing fluids lost to the summer heat, but hydrating in winter is just as important to our comfort and health. Adequate water intake helps your respiratory system from drying out from the inside out and boosts your immunity, so you will be more likely to fend off cold and flu germs that spread at this time of year.
Yep! Get some exercise. If the cold temps prevent you from outdoor activities you enjoy, join a gym or pick up some workout DVDs to do at home. Heading to the gym has the added benefit of getting out out of the house and around other people. Getting enough exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, have more energy, manage stress, and it also boosts your immune system. Plus, when you are at a healthy weight, it’s easier for your body to thermoregulate (i.e., modulate body temperature), allowing you to feel more comfortable and saving energy for other activities and functions.
You have certainly noticed that we get grumpy and “foggy” when we don’t get enough sleep. But did you know being starved of sleep negatively affects mood, immunity, and other health functions and that scientists now believe extreme loss of sleep can even lead to brain damage! Although you are probably not so sleep deprived to be at risk of brain damage, make sure you are getting the high-quality sleep you need in order to feel refreshed and energized. Seven to eight hours a night, on a routine schedule, is ideal. One good thing about cooler temps is that many people find it facilitates getting to and staying asleep at night! Getting your rest gives your body the opportunity to repair, boost your immunity, and eliminate toxins.
Get Cozy and Relax
Although we need our sunshine and exercise year-round, it is okay to slow down a bit during the darker, colder months. We don’t think of ourselves as seasonal creatures – we don’t fly south or hibernate for the winter – but humans are also governed by Mother Nature. Our “internal clocks,” or circadian rhythm, are biologically programmed to keep us up during the day and asleep at night. So, it’s natural that the season feels perfect for taking it easy and cuddling up inside with hot chocolate and a good book. Allow yourself some downtime during this darker, chillier time of year. Grab some alone time or plan a family movie or game night and enjoy staying in and taking it easy!
We want you to stay warm and cozy throughout the winter. If you are having any challenges keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, give us a call and we will find a solution! Schedule your appointment before December 31, 2019 to take advantage of our fall promotions and save!