Hey, the weather outside is frightful, but here are some delightful tips to help Windy City homeowners, and everyone else north of the south, make it through one of our flaky winters more easily.
These tips come from sources like the Reader’s Digest and elsewhere. Rather than just presenting them, since we’re in the appraisal business we’re going to rate them on a scale of -1 (below zero) to 10. Here’s the cool thing: you can vote too. Comments are a big part of any blog. So send in your votes and since it’s Chicago, you can vote more than once. Go ahead, Reader’s Digest, et al, snow us with your tricks and tips…
1. Unfreeze Locks with Lighters Hold the flame to your key for a few seconds. The key’s warm metal will help melt ice crystals that have formed inside the lock. Pahroo Appraisal: This ices up (or un-ices) our approval, rating a 6. It’s an idea that makes sense and could be great in a pinch when you’re out of, or forgot to buy one of those frozen lock spritzers (the technical term).
2. Cover Your Windshield Wipers Put on old socks before storms. (Not you, put them on the wiper blades) Ice won’t build up and stick to the blades.
Pahroo Appraisal: 2 (zero from the Russian judge). What size socks are we discussing here? Men’s socks aren’t going to work, unless they’re Kobe Bryant’s. Maybe women’s stockings will do. Unfortunately, we have to hose this idea.
3. Put a Coat on Your Shovel Shovels freeze up too, so put a coat on yours. Spray your shovel with nonstick cooking spray before getting started; snow will slide right off.
Pahroo Appraisal: 7. We’re going to actually try this.
4. Make Your Own De-icer Mix 1 teaspoon Dawn dishwashing liquid, 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol, and ½ gallon warm water; pour the mixture over walkways to keep them from freezing again right away.
Pahroo Appraisal: This earns a 4 or 5 and seems to be worth its salt, though does it have to be Dawn? It seems worth trying and certainly saves buying.
5. Create some thermal curtains to temporarily install over your windows. Pahroo Appraisal: It’s curtains for you, winter chill. In our evaluation, this deserves a 5.
6. Make your own fire starters. Pahroo Appraisal. 8 or 8.5. You have to click on the link and look at this. Rather than buying fat wood at hefty prices, creating these fire logs seems reasy to do and could make a good gift idea for neighbors.
Eco-friendly and Eco-nomical Home Tips
7. Open up curtains during the day to let the sunshine and heat in. Pahroo Appraisal: 3 at best. A fairly obvious idea, like “don’t keep windows or front door open.”
8. Prevent drafts by installing foam cutouts behind outlet covers on the walls. Pahroo Appraisal: Zero! We’re not sure what this means or how it works. Other than that, it seems useful.
9. Reverse your ceiling fan to keep warm air at floor level versus in your stairwell or ceilings. Pahroo Appraisal: 3—We’re not a big fan of anything breezy in Winter.
10. Spray pipe exterior and joints with WD-40 during the winter to help prevent them from bursting. Pahroo Appraisal: 6—Has anyone tried this? It could be simple, though a bit slippery.
11. Use tin foil behind your radiator or heating vents to reflect heat back into the house. Pahroo Appraisal: 1. A big piece of foil (unless sitting on top of a golden brown turkey) is not exactly chic décor.
Reader’s Digest: www.Readersdigest.com Instructables.com
Blurb at End
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