Attic doors are a major source of heat loss in many homes. To stop airflow, weatherstrip the edges and insulate the back side of the attic door. Fold-down stairs can be covered with a lightweight box made of rigid insulation.
To choose the right lamp, you should consider the best bulb to get the job done. There are 3 commonly used bulb types: 1) Incandescent - The most common bulb used in lamps today because they are inexpensive and widely available. Common incandescent bulbs vary from 15 to 150 watts and produce a soft yellow-white light, emitted in all directions. They are generally available in clear, frosted, or colored. Incandescent bulbs are great for standard ambient lighting and higher wattages are good for task lighting. (Never exceed the maximum wattage recommended for your lamp!) 2) Halogen - Many of today's lamps use halogen bulbs, which produce a bright, white light. They most closely replicate the color spectrum of the sun. Halogen bulbs have a longer life and provide more light (lumens) per watt than regular incandescent bulbs. Their small size and intensity make halogens great for task lighting. Since halogen bulbs burn hotter than other types, they require more caution. All halogen lamps sold today in the USA have approved safety shields to reduce fire risk. When changing a halogen bulb, be sure to wait until the bulb cools to touch it. Always use a clean rag to handle a halogen bulb, as oils from your hand will cause the bulb to burn hotter and can greatly reduce the life of your bulb. 3) Fluorescent - A very energy efficient bulb, using 20-40% less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs, and can last up to 20 times longer. Many new compact styles make fluorescent bulbs practical for task lighting. Screw-in types can be used in place of incandescent bulbs in standard lamp sockets. Warmth and softness of the light is improving.
Now that the heating season is over, have a chimney sweep clean any fireplaces and flues.
When house hunting in warm weather, your primary concern may be air conditioning. But don't forget to consider heating. Don't push your housing budget so close to the maximum of what you can afford that an increase in your heating bill could push you over the financial edge.
When inspecting a new or potential new home, make sure that any of the gas equipment needing ventilation—heaters, dryers, hot water heaters—is ventilated properly to the outside.
Determine the daily oil consumption by dividing the number of days between deliveries to determine the average amount of gallons used per day. A sudden increase in the amount of fuel used daily could mean a fraudulent delivery took place or the burner is malfunctioning.
If not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from: damage to the brain and nervous system; behavior and learning problems; slowed growth, hearing problems and headaches. Adults can suffer from: difficulties during pregnancy; other reproductive problems, high blood pressure; digestive problems; nerve disorders; memory and concentration problems; muscle and joint pain.
To help reduce creosote build-up in your wood-burning chimney system, burn only well-seasoned hardwoods. If you don't know how to build a hot, safe fire, ask your certified chimney sweep for tips on proper wood-burning techniques.
When sawing wood, take time to consider which side of the material will be facing up. Keep the good side up when you are using a hand saw, scroll saw, band saw or radial-arm saw. Keep the good side down when you are suing a portable circular saw, table saw or sabre saw. The principle is to have the tooth of the blade first break through the rough side of the board or panel.
Before the temperatures start to dip toward freezing, be sure to disconnect hoses from outdoor water faucets and drain all excess water from them before storing for the winter to protect pipes from freezing. Close valves that lead to outdoor faucets and open the faucets outside to allow for drainage.