9 Things Only People Who’ve Been Through Rochester Winters Understand

Person bundled up in the snow with coat and hat onThe snow has already arrived in the Rochester area, and although winter has not yet officially arrived, the cold weather has. If you live here, you know – winter often starts early, ends late, and you can plan on rosy cheeks and a bit of a red nose for quite a few months of the year. New to the Rochester area? Hopefully this list will help you stay warm and cozy all winter – no matter how long Old Man Winter sticks around!

9 Things You Need To Know About Rochester Winters

  1. Rochester people have layers. Hopefully more like parfaits, and less like onions, the folks in our area know how to really layer their wardrobe. Long underwear? Don’t leave home without it.
  2. Live in Rochester? Warm woolen mittens are one of your favorite things. And hats. And scarves. And even ear muffs. We get a lot of snow here – we need that outerwear to shield us!
  3. We have fun in winter by waxing Elizabethan. But soft! What light through the massive snowstorm breaks? Maybe the Winter Renaissance Faire, presented by our very own Shakespeare Company of Greater Rochester. So, get your Mercutio on and make merry!
  4. We understand that penguin walking is real. Streets, sidewalks, parking lots and pathways get super icy. We’ve adapted to stay upright by adjusting our walking patterns a bit. Don’t judge us – nobody likes to wipe out and sometimes it’s better to just look like a penguin – promise!
  5. Speaking of penguins… we’re not afraid to go jump in a lake. For more than 30 years, people have been enjoying the annual Lakeside Winter Celebration at Ontario Beach Park. Part of the festivities include the Polar Plunge, which benefits the Special Olympics. Jump in for a good cause!
  6. Rochester people understand you have to embrace your inner Elsa. It’s going to snow whether we like it or not, so might as well get out there and enjoy! Skiing, sledding, skating, anyone? Or… do you want to build a snowman? (We couldn’t resist.)
  7. Rochester citizens know to take it slow. Just like we’ve adapted our walk a bit to stay upright on the sidewalk, we’ve also learned that sometimes it’s best to take your time on the roads. Ice and snow buildup aren’t fun to drive in so slow down. You’ll get there!
  8. Hockey makes winter more bearable. If you live in Rochester, you’re undoubtedly a hockey fan, and we’re home to AHL’s Rochester Americans. (We know them as the Amerks, FYI.) When we’re not out in the freezing weather, you can find us at the freezing arena! We’re just made for the cold, people!
  9. We’re hearty, but yeah, we get sick of winter too. You’ll likely hear us cheering the first snowfall, which usually happens in October. You’ll also hear us lamenting the last one in June.

Another important part of being prepared for the weather is keeping your heating system in good shape, too.

People from Rochester will tell you – keeping your heating system in good working order is pretty darn important, too. We rely on them for many months of the year, so getting annual maintenance is one way you can ensure your system runs effectively and efficiently, no matter how long winter might last for. Of course, finding a heating contractor you can rely on is super important. You should know you can count on John Betlem for all your home heating needs.


At John Betlem, we offer heating maintenance, repair and installation. As a full-service contractor, we can help you with any and all of your heating system needs – whether you have a furnace, boiler, heat pump or ductless system. All you need to do is give us a call at 585.326.4767, and we’ll be glad to help you stay warm this winter and for years to come.