Friday, December 12, 2008

Few Simple Tips For the Winter And The New Year

Well a new year is fast approaching and winter is upon us. There are some things you should do to prepare your house and yourself for the winter and the new year.

1.) I use January to change all the batteries in the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in my house. I change the batteries every January whether the detector is signaling the battery is low or not. This is too important to fool around with, change the batteries once a year (or as needed if it is sooner than that)!

2.) You should change the filters for your furnace at MINIMUM twice a year. They recommend once a month but I don't think it needs to be on monthly basis. I personally change them every 2-3 months depending on if they are dirty or not. Don't let these filters clog up because it will cause wear and could even damage your homes heating and cooling system.

3.) If you have garden hoses and faucets on the outside of your house and are in an area that experiences freezing temperatures you have some work to do. Shut the water off for the faucets inside the house and then open the faucet outside and let it drain, now leave it open until you turn the water back on in the spring. Bring the hoses into the house after draining them to prevent them from being damaged. If you don't take these steps your pipes could burst due to freezing.

4.) Seal all cracks in your home and put up storm windows or cover windows with plastic on the inside to prevent heat lost and save tons of money on heating costs.

5.) If you have an oil furnace make sure you have gotten your yearly delivery. You don't want to run out when the temperature is really low (which is the way it usually happens).

6.) If you live in an area that gets snow make sure you have a small shovel and a brush/scraper in your vehicle so you don't get caught unprepared. It also doesn't hurt to throw some cardboard or kitty litter in your car in case you need it to get "unstuck" (use it under the tires to help grab). If you have a pickup make sure you throw some sand bags or some type of weight in your bed to aid with traction on slippery roads.

...that is all.

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  1. the cat litter turns into mud, if there's the slightest ammount of water, where you're stuck. sand works much better.

  2. Use lithium 9 volt batteries ($5 each in quantity) and you'll only have to change smoke/CO detector batteries every decade instead of every year.

    I've even switched my non-rechargeable battery purchases exclusively to lithium.

    Too many alklines leaked, no matter the brand, in storage (destroying electronics) to trust alkalines in my emergency equipment.

    AA lithiums are about $1.25 each in quantity, and plastic size adapters can be used to use them in place of C or D size batteries.

    One of the major battery brands is going to introduce new zinc-air disposables in January at CES - supposedly better life than alkalines but much cheaper than lithiums.