Getting Ready For Winter

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Sheldon Scott, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Heating is sort of a matter of life or death here, and our electricity costs are high. Despite the fact that many of our rivers are dammed for hydroelectricity, most of them are owned by Canadian companies who sell the electricity generated to Canada. We have a hydroelectric dam within a couple of miles from us but we have to buy our electricity from Bangor, with added transport costs.
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    That sucks! Gas and electric isn't cheap here either...costs are always rising...plus we live in a state that you really don't have to use it all the time.

    My winter bills are low..spring and fall also low but summer is a killer.

    I paid $100 last month for gas and electric...my daughter paid $900! Last time I was there, I didn't turn on the gas fireplace for Pickles in the morning. :)

    People are complaining in the neighborhood app about PG&E and they're also complaining about solar...something going on with that but I don't understand....For some reason that seems to be tied in with PG&E And solar isn't cheaper.
     
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  3. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    Days of old, each utility only offered one choice with which to purchase their product. Now, there are several companies to choose from for each utility necessary to run a household.

    There is no Houston Lighting and Power Co. anymore, but I have about five different companies vying for my money, and clogging up my mailbox every day. Remember Ma Bell? I can't even tell you how many phone services are out there nowadays. So much for the Paper Reduction Act, and yes I have a large mailbox at the edge of the road.

    In today's world, in this this country, to be able to live off the grid, you better have some money, or be willing to live in conditions of 100 years ago. :)
     
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  4. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Well the company that installed my New A/C unit just left after doing their free maintenance check up and changing my filter...I get one more free visit. These two were included in with the price of the unit.

    After that it's $168 a year for 2 checkups....anybody know if this is a fair price?

    I just also found out that they also do plumbing, I need a plumber because my garbage disposal quit working, so I'll call them instead of my another plumbing company I've used.

    I also just finished writing a good review on Yelp for them...they were really nice guys. Dave just started a week ago and his wife is expecting a baby next week. He said he liked my house :)
     
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  5. Ted Richards

    Ted Richards Well-Known Member
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    We have the best of both words as far as cooling and heating goes. We put in a whole-house A/C system a few years ago and for a few dollars more, we upgraded to a heat pump system with a digital thermostat. Nothing very exotic about it, just an ordinary A/C unit outside with a small accessory unit installed inside our existing high-efficiency gas furnace. When I select cooling the A/C unit comes on and the heater fan circulates cooled air. When I select heating the A/C unit reverses and collects heat from the outside air and the heater fan circulates it throughout the house. This system works well down to 20F but isn't very efficient below 35F.

    In cold weather we just use straight natural gas heat. Five years ago we used the heat pump a lot for heating in cool weather because our electricity rares were absurdly low and natural gas prices were high. Our situation is reversed now; natural gas prices are low and electricity rates are much higher so we use gas.
     
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  6. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    We have one of the central heat and air units; but the. Vents need to be fixed because most of the hot/cold air just dissipates underneath the house and not into the vents. We do use it some; but we have the small window AC in the living room and one in the bedroom for the summer.
    In the winter, we use those electric heaters in the bedroom and living room, which are the main rooms that we are actually spending much time in most of the time.
    This week, we have been doing the fall cleaning and painting while the weather is perfect for having the doors and windows open. Bobby has cleaned and painted the walls and celiling in both the living room and kitchen, which seem to be the rooms that gather dust the most.
    We ordered a large drape for the living room window, and it is one that bocks out light, heat, or cold; so when the drapes are shut, it should help with keeping the house either warmer or cooler, depending on the weather.
    We shuffled the living room furniture around, and I have been busy shampooing the carpets as we moved things around. This is a good time of year for this because spring and fall are about the only times when we can have the doors open and let in fresh air.
    The new drapes are awesome, and they are sort of like a wall mural that makes it seem like we are looking outside when they are closed, and they are on rings so it is easy to open and close them.

    802322DC-16CD-4691-8B83-E627ACF64EB5.jpeg
     
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  7. Tim Burr

    Tim Burr Well-Known Member
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    I was going to do a thread about ' It's time to check you Heating Unit, Winters coming...'
    glad people are thinking about it now when the weather is still warm and the companies aren't swamped
    with 'No Heat' calls.

    Also, since @Chrissy Cross mentioned it, here's something to check if your disposal stops working.

     
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  8. Ted Richards

    Ted Richards Well-Known Member
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    I have a short list of things to bring indoors that I've posted in my shop and I always check the seals around both entry doors and storm doors. Those seals take a beasting and must be replaced or repaired before winter to save on heating.
     
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  9. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I used to have to get ready for winter by pulling the totes out of the closet and taking the winter clothes out of them, and then repacking those totes with our spring and summer wardrobe. A few years ago I decided to down size our wardrobe too, getting rid of clothes that we never wore and not replacing articles of clothing until we actually need them. Now our walk-in closet has plenty of space for our year round clothes and saves me time and energy by having no more different season clothes totes to pack and unpack each season.

    I also used to have to do pretty much the same thing for our bedding. I had winter comforters and spring and summer light weight quilts and blankets all stored and packed and unpacked according to seasons too. But now I layer our bedding and add or subtract a cover according to the weather and my extra covers are folded on a shelf in the closet instead of packed away in a tote. I do have one extra heavy comforter packed away in a tote up in the attic just in case our heating system would go out and it would be really cold over here. This hasn't happened yet but if we live long enough I'm sure this scenerio may happen some winter and we will be ready for it.

    Where we live in Louisiana the winters are mild compared to alot of other places. But we do get some freezing temperatures and a few below freezing ones too most winters. My husband feels the cold alot more than I do now that we are older and we used to not be able to agree on what temperature to leave our thermostat on. If he set it I would be to hot, if I set it, he would be to cold. A few years ago I bought him a small space heater for him to use when he was in the livingroom. That heater has been such a blessing to both of us as now he can have the temperature he wants in the livingroom and I can also be comfortable while I'm sleeping in the bedroom. Part of getting ready for winter is making sure that space heater is still working properly so we can continue to enjoy no more fussing over the thermostat. :)
     
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  10. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Northeastern Florida is known to be the coldest area in Florida during so-called “Florida winters”. In fact, on Christmas Day 2010, it was snowing in our complex! I seen something coming down, looking out the living room window. Went out front and it was snowing! Ran and got the video camera, zoomed in on the trees and, sure enough, snow was coming down pretty heavily. Didn’t stick, but was definitely coming down. Wife and I were totally amazed. Found out that, some years before, snow had fallen on the beach in Daytona Beach.
    Anyway, unlike when we lived in Colorado, very little to do here in preparation for winter. We do put away the shorts and t-shirts and bring out the jeans and long-sleeve shirts. Bring the coat rack, with some “winter” type coats on it, and put in the corner of the dining room. Our winter parkas, from Colorado, stay in the closet. Get the vehicle window frost scrappers out. Bring the fireplace tools in from our garage and have store-bought fire logs ready. Since living here, we’ve seen some winter daytime highs in the mid 40’s. We never/ever thought it would get that cold here!
    Also have to take every thing out of boat and either drain both sides of the boat block or “winterize” the boat. Have done both. Take both batteries out and take home to keep recharged. Put both new cockpit cover and full cover on.
    Have a month or so before all of this has to be done.
    And, can’t forget that wife gets her electric throw out and ready.

    Just think, we are making plans, and doing some packing, to move back to where “Old Man Winter” really hits....the northern part of the Eastern Slope/Front Range of Colorado or perhaps the southeastern corner of Wyoming. Oh Boy!!
     
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  11. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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  12. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    WOW!! @Yvonne Smith , those curtains are amazing...I've never seen anything like that...
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Given that I bought my snowblower new last year, I wasn't too concerned but had intended to have it serviced over the summer. Well, I didn't do that, although I did drain the gas tank. We had our first real snow last night and, although it wasn't a major storm by any means, I did want to blow the snow away so that I could start out the winter with a wide berth in the driveway and sidewalks. But I couldn't get it to start and managed to shovel only enough so that we could get the car in the driveway, and a path to the front door. I am not very good at mechanical things, so I gave up on the snowblower after letting it sit for an hour or two, then trying it again. I don't have a way to get it to a service center, which is why I didn't have it served in the first place. I need to buy a trailer anyhow, so maybe that's what I'll have to do.
     
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  14. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    @Ken Anderson , we have some kind of stuff here that we can use to quick start lawn mowers, etc. I don't use the mowers so I'm not sure what it's called. It's in a spray can and I think you spray it into the carburetor. Maybe some of the men know here what it is called and can tell you. And, since I'm an expert at gas engines, maybe you need a new spark plug. Hey, it can't hurt. ;):D
     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I have that. It didn't help. I got it started a few times but it wouldn't keep running.
     
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  16. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ken Anderson buying a trailer is one option to consider. I have several pieces of equipment that I need to have serviced now and then. I thought about buying a trailer but the local repair shop will pick up and deliver for a minimal fee. Buying a trailer to sit around in the way most of the year was not the best option for me.
     
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  17. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I have a camp up north that I need to haul stuff to, so the trailer would get some use. Plus, we live in a small town too far away from everyone's delivery radius so whenever we want to buy a new refrigerator, stove, or large piece of furniture, we have to borrow our neighbor's truck, so a trailer would be handy anyhow.
     
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  18. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Sounds like Santa needs to bring you a trailer for your Christmas present @Ken Anderson. :)
     
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  19. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I'll be getting one. I bought a hitch this summer, which was far more expensive than I had anticipated.
     
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  20. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    From what our weather map shows, most of the East Coast is expecting a snowstorm, and it looks like the snow has reached the southern part of Maine already, from what it shows on the map.
    Hopefully, you got the snow blower running, @Ken Anderson , because if all of that rainstorm that just plowed through this area turns to snow as it goes north, you might get a lot of snow dumped in your driveway.
    If you have not got it running yet, and no trailer to take it anywhere, it is quite possible that you can find a handyman-type of person on Craigslist that would just come out to your house and start it for you.
    Since it is basically a new snow blower, there can’t be much that needs done to get it started, I remember one time, we were having a terrible time getting a new riding lawnmower started, and there was some little inline fuel switch that was supposed to be turned off to stop the gas from going through, and then you turned it back on again when you wanted to use the lawnmower.
    We hadn’t had one like that before, and until someone showed us the little switch, we could not get the mower to start.
     
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  21. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    It's winter here this morning for sure. My friend in Minnesota since us a message last night telling us it would be 25 below for them this morning. I can't even imagine that kind of cold...and I would never want to live in a place that has winter's like that. My old bones just could not take it.

    My BIL temp in Colorado was 16 degrees a few mornings ago...I definitely would be hibernating in that kind of weather. :)

    Everytime I think we are having a cold winter here in Louisiana...all I have to do is look at the Weather map for the upper States and I know this is summer compared to alot of places.
     
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  22. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    Getting ready for winter? Surely, in Alabama, one only needs to break out the sweaters and light coats, or so it would normally be.
    On this somewhat blustery morning, the morning of the New Year, it is 7 degrees with a wind chill factor of something below 0. Apparently, according to our good weather bureau, that is the way it is supposed to stay all day with a possible upward movement of the thermometer to about 20.

    I do suspect that the polar like weather across the nation is the result of Al Gore's jets flying him all over to make speeches in order to prevent global warming. Or perhaps it is the U.N. initiatives that have turned the tide so dramatically that the coat makers of China are now doing double shifts in order to keep America warm.
    Either way, whatever they are doing in order to save the Polar Bears from extinction, it seems to be working except Alabama hasn't seen one of those white critters in uh..........never so they must already be extinct or hiding until the temperature drops another 30 degrees or so.

    I wonder what Polar Bear tastes like? Probably a cross between the California Condor and the Spotted Owl. If it keeps up like this, I will probably find out.
     
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