Tag Archives: Winter Tips

5 Summer Weekend Getaways

Say, “Hello” all across Texas this summer. A nice weekend exploring one or all of these destinations will have your family eager to pack up the car and hit the road!

Garner State Park, Concan
Garner State Park is a must! The cool temps of the Frio River will keep you cooled off all day. There are several activities to do including hiking, camping, tube floating, kayaking and paddle boarding. Get this trip on the calendar soon as campsite and cabins begin to fill up for the remaining summer months. To make reservations and check out the complete list of activities, click here.

Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs
Take a dive into the 12-foot-wide cove at Hamilton Pool Reserve in Dripping Springs. Reservations are required as they only allow a limited number in from 9-12pm and 1-5pm.
Call ahead or visit them online to reserve your time spot. The oasis has public bathrooms and hiking trails. However, there is not any food or drink stops, so pack a light bag of snacks and water. Hamilton Pool only excepts cash when paying on site. This refreshing hole is the perfect getaway right outside of Austin city limits. Will your gang make that jump?

Houston Museum District, Houston
The Child’s Museum of Houston, voted “America’s No. 1 Children’s Museum”, by Parents Magazine, is the ultimate kids getaway. With 19 museums in the area, your gang will have a ton to do! Stop by the Houston Zoo and wander onto Waugh Street Bridge to watch the bats emerge at nightfall! Get all the details here.

BSR Cable Park, Waco
Want an adult weekend getaway? Barefoot Ski Ranch is the new hot spot this summer! The Cable Park just opened Summer 2018 and is home to America’s longest lazy river at nearly one-mile long. Take a plunge on the Royal Flush slides or enjoy the surf wave cable park. If your kids are dare-devils and can hang, bring ’em along for the fun at the adventure park. Want to slow down a little? Spend Sunday afternoon at Magnolia Markets, wondering through the Silos and shops. Regardless of your preference, Waco has grown into a popular weekend destination spot for all.

Krause Springs, Spicewood
Krause Springs is privately owned by the Krause family and was founded in 1955. The well-known camping and swimming site is located in the hill country about 30 miles west of Austin. Reserve a camp spot for a weekend stay and visit the 32 springs on the property. Did I mention there are a beautiful waterfall, grotto, and natural pools? Explore the butterfly garden, hike through trails or take a dip in the manmade pool that is fed by the springs. This weekend getaway will be one for the books! Book a camping site here.

Where ever your family goes this summer, remember to give your car a quick checkup (check tire pressure, oil level, and coolant levels) to ensure your safety. Go with confidence with auto, RV, boat or ATV insurance today! Contact your Al Boenker Insurance at 1-800-thanksal or online at thanksal.com.

5 Tips for Driving on Ice & Snow

Everyone knows that severe winter weather in Texas is fairly uncommon. Whenever the temperature drops below freezing and snow proceeds to fall, people tend to lose their minds. Just half an inch of snow will shut down schools and businesses for the day! With snow and ice in the upcoming forecast, we wanted to provide some helpful information on how to deal with driving in these nasty conditions. Here are five tips for driving in the ice and snow!

Always Be Prepared -Icy roads increase the risk of breakdowns and accidents. Due to this, it’s important to have supplies on deck in case you’re stuck out in the cold for a long period of time. An emergency kit during the winter should include: a flashlight, blankets, snacks, water, flares, ice scraper, shovel and a phone charger.

Navigating Hills – When approaching a hill or an inclined slope, make sure that you accelerating and gain momentum to carry you up. Try not to use the gas pedal as you climb the hill because it can cause your wheels to spin out in some instances. Once you’ve reached the top, lower your speed and descend the hill at a reduced pace.

Brake & Gas Pedals – Be sure to accelerate and decelerate at a slower rate than normal. This will allow your tires to gain traction easier which will prevent you from skidding. It also takes longer to slow down on icy roads, so ease on your brakes and take your time to stop when approaching a light or stop sign.

Turns & Skids – One of the main things you need to be on the lookout for is black ice, which is a thin coat of clear ice that appears glossy on certain parts of the road. If you ever find yourself skidding due to this hazard, be sure to steer your car in the direction you want to go and avoid hitting the brakes. Also, whenever you’re turning, make sure that you reduce your speed to avoid losing control on any icy surfaces.

Winterize Your Car – Make a note to replenish your car’s fluids and inspect it to see that the wiper blades, tire pressure, and battery are all functioning proficiently. You can also look into getting snow tires or placing chains around your existing tires to make navigating those icy roads a little easier!

With the New Year here, now is a great time to make sure that all of your insurance needs are up-to-date. Give us a call at 1-800-Thanks Al to have an agent review your policy to confirm that your auto insurance has the right amount of coverage for your family and your needs. We can also ensure that you are getting the best rate for your policy. You might even qualify for additional discounts, especially if you have your home insured through us!

5 Ways to Save Energy During Winter

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The holidays are a wonderful time of celebration and merriment, but there’s one unfavorable truth about the season: It always takes a toll on your bank account. With decorations, presents and preparation costs, it’s almost impossible to make it to the New Year without saving money. Fortunately, there are certain ways you can conserve cash on energy costs during this time of year so that you can have a little extra financial cushion. Here are 5 ways you can save on energy costs during the winter!

Thermostat Setting – The magic number that your thermostat should be set to during the winter is 68 degrees. If you find this setting too cold, you can always bundle up and wear warm clothing while you’re at home. Whenever you’re out, adjust the thermostat to 55 degrees, and it can help you save up to 20% of your heating costs. You can also save up to 5% on your heating costs for every degree below the 68-degree range.

Inspect Your Attic – When it comes to heat loss, poor insulation is a major factor that usually comes into play. Hire a professional to make sure that the heat you’re generating in your home is properly circulating inside. A sufficient insulated attic will ensure you that no energy and money is being wasted to heat your home.

Seal Up Leaks – Even though it’s hard to find, there’s a good chance that your doors and windows have holes or cracks in the seams. If left unattended, it can leak out hot air, which can cost you a lot of money. Avoid this problem by using caulk to fill up the cracks in these spaces so that the heat can stay in your home.

Water Heater Setting – Your water temperature should always be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The preprogrammed winter setting for most homes is 140 degrees, which is hotter than what you really need it to be. If you set it correctly, you can save up to 11% on heating costs.

Replace Filters – Old and dirty filters can reduce air flow, which can prevent hot air warming up your home and spike energy use. Make sure you clean out your furnace and replace your filters so that you can save energy and reduce your heating costs.

With the change of seasons, it’s also a great time to make sure that all of your insurance needs are up-to-date. Give us a call at 1-800-Thanks Al to have an agent make sure that your auto insurance has the right amount of coverage for your family and your needs. We can also ensure that you are getting the best rate for your policy. You might even qualify for additional discounts, especially if you have your home insurance with us.

We hope that these tips find you well and keep you safe during the upcoming months!

5 Winter Housekeeping Tips

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The winter season can bring us joy along with some discontent. For most homeowners, heavy snowfall and icy conditions can cause severe damage to their properties. In order to prevent Mother Nature from putting you in a financial hole, make sure you take the necessary steps to protect your home. Check out these five winter home-keeping tips!

Outdoor Preparation – Frozen pipes are a major risk of damage to your home during the winter. It’s important that you cover them properly with heat tape or cushioned sleeves before the temperature drops to prevent any damage. Make sure you also include all of the faucet heads outside in your yard as well as any plants or bushes that you wish to keep intact throughout the winter season.

Roof Care – Snowfall can appear unexpectedly at any time, which is why you need to make sure your roof is prepared to withstand a potential storm. Call a professional to inspect your roof for any leaks or weak spots so that you’re guaranteed it can hold together during the season. Also, be sure to clean the leaves out your gutters to avoid any clogging, which can lead to some substantial damage.

Caulk It Up – Even though it’s hard to find, there’s a good chance that your doors and windows have holes or cracks in the seams. If left unattended, it can leak out hot air, which can cost you a lot of money. Avoid this problem by using caulk to fill up the cracks in these spaces, so the heat can stay in your home.

Remove Potential Hazards – Even if your roof checks out and is ready to go, there are other potential hazards that can cause damage to your home. Remove all overhanging tree branches that could pose a threat if weighted down with snow. It’s also highly advised that you out sand or ice in your driveway so that you can safely back your car out without any complications.

Heat Sources – Chimney Fires can be an excellent source of heat during the winter, but it can also pose a serious health and financial hazard. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected before using it to ensure that it will function properly. While you’re at it, run some tests on your furnace and home heating system as well to assure that they’re running efficiently.

With the change of seasons, it’s also a great time to make sure that all of your insurance needs are up-to-date. Give us a call at 1-800-Thanks Al to have an agent make sure that your auto insurance has the right amount of coverage for your family and your needs. We can also ensure that you are getting the best rate for your policy. You might even qualify for additional discounts, especially if you have your home insurance with us.

We hope that these tips find you well and keep you safe during the upcoming months!

5 Winter Driving Tips

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Goodbye fall, hello winter!

As we usher in this magical new season, there are many things to be excited about. Christmas is quickly approaching, the weather is getting cooler, and we’re approaching a new year. However, with all of the great things the winter season gives us, there are also some things we must be aware of and adjust to. Road conditions will drastically alter during this time and it’s important to make sure you understand how to adapt to these new changes. Here are the top 5 driving safety tips for winter!

Slow It Down- Usually speed limits are meant for dry pavement, so they don’t really apply when the roads are wet and scattered with ice and snow. Instead, drive 5-10 miles below the appointed limit to ensure that you don’t spin out of control or skid due to high speeds upon braking. This should also apply to turning, merging and taking exits on highways.

Ice Hazards – Although snow and ice can look beautiful during this time, they can also prove to be very dangerous. They can hide traffic lines, potholes, and other road hazards, so make sure that the road has your undivided attention. Also, be aware of your break pressure because stopping on ice can be extremely dangerous. Always drive with caution through these icy patches.

Road Awareness – Snow plows and salt trucks can sometimes be inconsistent with their road care, so it’s important to be alert at all times. Because of their unique air exposure, bridge surfaces usually freeze worse than normal roads. Also, some exit ramps occasionally receive less anti-icing material than the main highway, so make sure you slow down when exiting the main road.

Heavy Precipitation – Rain, snow, and frost are pretty prevalent weather conditions in the winter, so be on alert for these impending changes. Once the temperature drops, make sure that you’re on high alert for morning frost and icy spots on the road. Also, if you wake up to a foggy morning, make sure that you stick with your low beams and avoid using high beams. This will cause a disturbance in visibility by bouncing off of the fog and creating glare.

Traffic Adjustments – If there is heavy traffic, make sure that you look further ahead and keep a greater distance between cars than you’d normally do. This will give you extra time to react safely to kneejerk decisions by other cars and trucks on the road. Also, trucks take longer to respond to any action because of their large size, so drive with caution around them in these harsh conditions.

With the change of seasons, it’s also a great time to make sure that all of your insurance needs are up-to-date. Give us a call at 1-800-Thanks Al to have an agent make sure that your auto insurance has the right amount of coverage for your family and your needs. We can also ensure that you are getting the best rate for your policy. You might even qualify for additional discounts, especially if you have your home insurance with us.

We hope that these tips find you well and keep you safe during the upcoming months!