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9

The problem here of course is that snow/freezing rain gets into the lock and freezes. With a house, this isn't normally a problem for a few reasons. First, you use it often enough that it doesn't get that bad, and second the inside of the house is warm, which prevents water from freezing inside the lock (unless it gets really, really cold I suppose). You ...


9

You should consider a few conditions when deciding what is the most efficient (often cheapest) method for heating your home. The Department of Energy site has some good resources about regional heating fuel costs. Their heating fuel comparison calculator is a useful example: http://www.eia.doe.gov/ask/conversionequivalents_faqs.asp#compare_heating_fuels ...


7

There are three reasons a T&P valve opens. Temperature, pressure, or a faulty valve. Temperature If the water in the heater reaches a temperature of 210 degrees F, the T&P valve will open and release water until the water temperature is reduced. As water is removed through the T&P valve, cold water enters through the inlet and mixes with the ...


7

I don't believe rock salt is actually harmful to unsealed asphalt (assuming that's what the driveway is made of). I used it for several years on the unsealed asphalt driveway at my old house and never had problems. It doesn't look pretty, and while it's in use the driveway will of course have white splotches all over it, but those will wash off in the ...


6

Consider putting your money in to conservation instead of new equipment. For example: Turn down the thermostat. Dropping it a few degrees takes about 10% off your fuel usage. Get a digital thermostat. It lets you set the temperature exactly where you want it, instead of guessing and over- or under-heating. Get a programmable thermostat. You can let the ...


5

We're seeing here in action why backflow preventers (check valves) are mandated in various municipalities. Blue water sounds like someone was using one of those toilet cleaner tablets in the tank, the system lost pressure due to the freeze blockage and siphoned the toilet tank till the fill tube on the ballcock was exposed. Not something I'd want ...


4

Relief valves discharge when the temperature or the pressure gets too high in the tank. When the tank heats up water, the water will expand and the pressure will increase. Pressure: If there is no allowance within the system to absorb the increase in pressure such as an expansion tank or a thermal expansion valve and all the taps are closed, the relieve ...


4

When turned off, the mercury in the fluorescent tube condenses on the inside surface of the tube. In order to emit light, the mercury must evaporate and form a vapor as the conductive path between the ends of the tube. The colder the bulb is to begin with, the longer it takes for all the mercury to evaporate, and for the light to reach full brightness. ...


4

If you have no space in a garage or shed (like me) then outside is your only option. I use a 20'x20' plastic tarp tied around my four patio chairs and table on my deck. They've survived 6 Minnesota winters. After a big snowfall, sometimes I'll sweep the snow off if it accumulates.


3

You are right, Salt will eventually harm or "shell" concrete. I would suggest potassium chloride. This product will de-ice down to apx 15 F and will not harm the concrete or adjoining lawns or other plantings. Potassium chloride comes in a variety of brand names and can be found at most hardware stores. We use it all the time for roof de-icing because it ...


3

My suggestion would be to pull out the window and clean everything really well to make sure nothing is gumming things up. Then I would use a clean rag and wipe all the areas where the window contacts the frame with a good quality silicone lubricant. A little goes a long way with silicone lubricant, you don't need to saturate things with a direct blast. I ...


2

Two 110-volt 15 A circuits would give you 15 A × 110 V = 3.3 kW of power. I think that's too little. Here's my back-of-the-envelope calculation: I live in a house that's a little bigger than yours, but presumably better insulated, so let's assume they're equivalent. I use ~100 gallons of heating oil per month in the winter. A gallon of heating oil has 41 ...


2

I have one of the smaller 2 stage snow throwers (basically this one) that is very easy to Maneuver. My wife uses it easily. For me and my location (northeast Ohio), I don't need a bigger one so something like EZSteer is overkill. If you feel like you really need a bigger one, it might be useful. Have you tried pushing these around in the showroom? A ...


2

If you're refering to the sort of caulk-like stuff that runs along the edge of the glass, it's called 'window glazing putty', sometimes 'window glazing compound'. You can find sites online that cover how to re-glaze a window; you may want to remove the glazing from the rest of the window so you can get a clean edge all the way around, and a matching color: ...


2

You can build a 2"x2" frame that's 1/2" smaller than the inside window opening, apply shrink insulation film to that and then use 3/8-1/2" foam backer rod to hold it in place in the window opening during winter. This makes a shrink-film internal storm window that's easily removed and if you're careful, just needs a touch-up with the heat gun next winter to ...


2

Make an insulated, heated enclosure for the paint. Since the paint is already on a wire rack, just insulate the floor and enclose the bottom shelf of the rack. Use a lizard heater and a thermo-cube. Cut and notch OSB, rigid foam insulation and some scrap pegboard to fit on the floor below the shelf. Use scrap vinyl to make a serpentine channel on the ...


2

After posting this I noticed that the furnace control board has an LED that was flashing. Checked the manual and it was an error code saying the pressure switch contact did not close after the inducer was energized. This means nothing too me but before I was going to call a pro I wanted to take a look inside. Pulled out the blower motor and everything looked ...


1

Most units are prehung. If the mortises on the jam and door look perfect and fit precisely, it is usually a prehung. Unless the situation is intolerable, I'd give it a while and let conditions change before making drastic changes to the door or hinge sets. I suspect possible settling or drastic humidity or temperature related expansion to the frame. You ...


1

The icicles are caused by heat escaping from your house, into the attic. This melts the snow on your roof causing icicles. It has nothing to do with your gutters. If you want to reduce or eliminate the icicles, the best thing you can do is add insulation to your attic and seal other means of air escaping (non-sealed recessed lights leak a lot of air). If ...


1

Insulated drapes could be a solution that would not spoil the view and be decorative at the same time. Not knowing your location try a home decorating center. There are quilted shades that roll up above the door and seal to a track that is applied to the door casing. Look locally for a business that deals in window treatments or quilted shades.


1

The cheapest solution will probably be to fit some insulation film. You fix this with double sided sticky tape and then use heat (from a hair-dryer) to shrink the film so it becomes taut. There are two disadvantages to this: It's not re-usable, you can't reapply it the next year. The stick tape is hard to remove. A more permanent solution would be to buy ...


1

Look at using a heat pump, as the give about 4 unit of heat for each unit of electric used, however they are not cheap. ALso spending a bit on inproving your insulation may give a much better payback then spending the money on the heating side.


1

I know of a person who uses two electrical oil-filled radiators with total output of 2,5 kW to heat a room in a 440 sq ft log house in a region where -10 Celsius is typical in winter. However, he only does so from late fall till early winter and from early spring till summer since it's a summer house and he lives in an apartment most of the time. He does so ...



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