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Working in the winter rain or snow isn’t fun by any means, but it’s a necessary part of your job. Wearing the right winter gear makes ALL the difference.

If you can swing it, it’s well worth it to spend the money on high-quality winter gear that’ll last you for multiple seasons. It’s worth the investment – it’s better to have just one or two coats that serve you well for multiple seasons than several coats that aren’t totally reliable.

No matter what your budget, though, you can find a winter coat that works for you. Here are a few tips to keep in mind during your search.

Size up.

Surviving the cold is all about layers, which means you need to make sure your coat will still fit over all of that bulk. Buying one size larger than you normally would should do the trick, but if you can, try on the coat with some layers underneath to see how it fits.

Look for waterproofing.

If you expect to encounter snow and rain this winter, make sure that you own at least one layer that’s completely waterproof. Some examples of high-quality waterproof materials include GORE-TEX or a DWR coating.

Pick your insulation.

You have two insulation options for warmth: down filling or synthetic insulation. If you live in a snowy or rainy area, consider opting for synthetic insulation rather than down, because down filling doesn’t insulate as well when it’s damp. On the other hand, down filling is more lightweight and compact than synthetic.

…But look for a slim fit.

Winter gear is bulky enough as it is. You need your coat to be well-insulated, which means it will be pretty thick, but look for something that’s not unreasonably bulky or heavy. Waddling around like a marshmallow isn’t exactly practical.

Tear-resistant material.

Some shiny fabrics are very easily torn, so if you work with fencing or other sharp pointy objects on the farm, that can definitely get frustrating. Instead, look for a thick and tear-resistant material that will hold up.

Lots of pockets.

Can you ever really have enough pockets? I don’t think so! Look for a coat with big pockets and plenty of ’em. The pockets should be secure enough to hold items without letting them fall out.

Opt for a hood.

Hoods help protect you from the rain and snow, and they also keep your head warm. There’s really no downside to having the option there, even if you tend to wear a hat and scarf. Look for a coat with an adjustable hood – a drawstring or snaps.

Buy secondhand.

High-quality work coats are almost always a bit pricey, but you can save a lot of money by buying secondhand. Look for a coat that’s still in good shape – a season or two old is your best bet, and believe it or not, people do get rid of their winter coats after a couple years if they’re no longer “in fashion.” Luckily for you, fashion is the least of your worries when it comes to working in the cold! You might even end up with a fancier, cuter coat than you expected this way.

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Retry These Tips to Keep the Cold Out

You’ve probably heard about most of these tips designed to lower your heating bills before now, but you might have gotten lax in following them. After all, it isn’t always easy to do what you know is best, particularly if you are the only one in the family actually handling these extra chores. Refresh your memory and take a look at the following ways to lower your heating bills at least by a little bit this winter.

Optimize Your Curtain Use

Obviously, you already know that curtains are designed for more than simply keeping your neighbors from snooping on you. They can also keep the cold out as well as letting the warmth of the sun’s rays into your home. Just remember to open your curtains during the day when the sun is out and close them at night when the outside air takes on a chill as the sun disappears temporarily.

Dodge the Drafts

Drafty doors and windows cool off your indoor air no matter how high you have the thermostat set. Buy an inexpensive draft dodger for every door that opens to the outside, and remember to use them. While you are at it, purchase a few weatherstripping kits and do away with drafty windows.

Close Egress Doors Quickly

Whether you are entering your home through the front door or coming in from the garage, it is important to close doors quickly to minimize how much cold air you let into your home. Even if it is easier to allow the door to remain open because you need to make several trips to the car to get your groceries, take the time to close it in between trips. You’ll reduce the amount of cold air that gets inside while also reducing your heating bill at the same time.

As the cooler air approaches, you might want to review all of your strategies for keeping your home comfortably heated. Not only will you be more comfortable but you will also save money on your heating bills.

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