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20

Clean your gutters Make sure your chimney is clean Install storm windows Empty the gas from your mower and Reverse ceiling fans


17

Take the snowblower out of storage. Put a little bit of gas in and make sure that it starts. No sense in trying to diagnose a small engine problem in the freezing cold (if you can help it).


15

Give your car a once over: Check fluid levels (oil, coolant, brake, steering, transmission) Make sure you top up the washer fluid Check the tires. Check tire pressure, and adjust as necessary Check the treads. If you insert a penny in the tread, and can see the top of Lincoln's head, then you are due for new tires. Double check your spare is in good ...


14

Drain all your garden hoses and insulate external faucets with these.


12

The reason why this is happening is the structural members are expanding and contracting with the temperature/humidity changes. There is no good solution to fix the issues, but you can cover it up. The quick and dirty solution would be to put up quarter round over the seams, and attach it to the studs only- That is not to the ceiling. This would allow for ...


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 ...


9

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 ...


8

Blow out your sprinkler (irrigation) lines so the water does not freeze and break the line or sprinkler heads.


7

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 ...


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 ...


7

If you have a fireplace - get the chimney swept/inspected.


6

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 ...


5

Cover your air conditioning condenser to prevent snow/ice buildup. Before covering, be sure to clean off the coil, and inspect for any damage.


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

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 ...


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.


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

From the picture it seems that the walls were done and the ceiling last and trying to meet the walls. Normally (if done right) the drywall on the ceiling would rest on the drywall from your walls. In this case even if you had a lot of contraction throughout the year you would have a very minor crack at most (which could be fixed with plaster or even ...


3

you might be able to avoid this with graphite spray. By better lubricating the lock the water might not have time to collect and freeze in the tumblers.


3

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 ...


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 ...


2

HVAC Open cold air returns Prep humidifier: Open intake, turn on water, set thermostat Change furnace filter Test furnace Electrical Shut off A/C circuit breaker If you have baseboard heaters, turn on any circuit breakers, test heaters Do you have a generator? Does it start? Do you have a plan to connect it if needed? Outside Clean out my garage so ...


2

If you dont have storm windows, at least take out the screens. Take the battery out of your lawnmower. If you have a septic system with multiple leech fields, rotate them (I do this twice a year).


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

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

To keep water out of the door lock (knob type) in my gagrage, I split open a tennis ball ("x" cut) tied some twine to it, to attach it to the knob shaft, and put it over the knob. Works great.



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