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Archive for the 'Seasonal' Category

Nov 19 2019

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Tips for Heating Your Garage – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Seasonal

Wood Stove

A garage isn’t just a garage any more.  For many of us, this space doubles as an exercise room, workshop or hobby room.  If you are frozen out of your garage in the winter, here a few tips to consider:

  1. Insulate and finish the walls and ceiling just as you would any other room in your home.  Insulation can also be installed on some types of overhead doors. 
  2. If you have windows, make sure they are sealed and install shades or blinds to help insulate against cold air when the sun isn’t shining.
  3. Consider a heat source.  You may be able to tie into the existing system in your home or rely on a portable heater powered by electricity or propane.  There are systems that even heat from ceiling panels.  Perhaps a wood burning stove could fit the bill if space and local codes allow. 

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Oct 16 2019

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

Saving Money on Your Heating and Electric Bills – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Seasonal

Do you want to save money on your heating and electric bills this winter? Check out these tips.

Saving money on your heating bills in the winter always starts with safety. Have your furnace inspected, cleaned and serviced before cold weather arrives. The same goes for your chimney and fireplace or wood stove if you are using one.

Make your home as airtight as possible by sealing leaks around windows and doors.  Install shades and draperies to insulate windows.

A tapestry or blanket hung on a bedroom wall will help take the chill off an outside wall. 

Turning down the thermostat will save 1% for every degree it is lowered over an eight-hour period.

Shut off rooms or attic spaces that are not used often and consider a space heater for the area where the family gathers in the evening.

A humidifier will make lower temperatures more comfortable. 

Use cold water for laundry.

Use LED lights for holiday decorations.

Don’t forget to install fresh batteries in the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and if you ever smell a rotten egg odor leave your house immediately and call your natural gas provider from another location.    

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Oct 22 2018

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

Getting your Car Ready for Winter – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Driving Safety,Seasonal

Driving Safety KitWhen the autumn leaves begin to fall, it’s time to winterize your vehicles. After an inspection by your mechanic to insure your automobile is running properly, replenish all the fluids and then clear the sand and beach balls, golf clubs and baseball gloves from the trunk. Replace them with the items below and you’ll be ready to take to the road this winter.

 

Emergency kit – Auto part stores sell these or you can compile your own. Include a few handy tools like screwdrivers and pliers, jumper cables, road flares, flashlight with fresh batteries, and reflective triangles.

First aid kit – Besides the usual items, this is a good place to store some spare change and a few random snacks just in case of delays. Don’t forget a box of tissues for those nasty winter colds.

Traction – To proceed in an icy situation, you may need some ice melt, rock salt, or kitty litter. If you are prone to encounter extreme snow packed conditions, don’t forget the tire chains.

Ice scraper – These often get broken or lost from one year to the next, so make sure you include one in your car before bad weather hits.

Blanket – In case of breaking down in the cold, a cozy blanket will help keep you warm. Also include a change of clothing, especially socks and gloves for when yours get wet and soggy.  Pack them in a plastic bag to keep them from getting wet from other items in your trunk like sleds or a snow brush.

 

Finally, store relevant emergency numbers in your phone and keep it charged. Keep your tank full and have a safe winter.

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Nov 20 2017

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

Preparing Your Car for Winter – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Driving Safety,Seasonal

Preparing Your Car for WinterAs the days get shorter and the temperatures get cooler, you know it’s time to get your vehicles ready for winter. An inspection by your mechanic will ensure that your fluids are topped off, tires are properly inflated and the battery will hold its charge. Most garages offer inspections at a reasonable rate, sometimes at a discount if you are getting other service like an oil change or tires rotated.

 

Now that you have the assurance of a vehicle in tip top shape whose tires can handle the slick roads, wipers that efficiently clear the windshield, and a heater that keeps the cabin toasty, it is time to add a few items to that winterized car. Gas is first on the list. Keep the tank full to prevent moisture from freezing in the lines and to be prepared for those unexpected delays in traffic. Most of us pump our own fuel these days and it is miserable to fill up on a cold, windy, sloshy day, so do like I do, and take care of that tank on a sunny afternoon.

 

Emergency items to consider carrying include, ice scraper, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, rock salt or kitty litter for traction, a phone charger, extra clothing, a blanket, spare change and a snack or two. If you have kids don’t forget to add a few toys to keep them occupied when they get bored with what they brought. Do yourself a favor and pack your gear in waterproof tubs with lids. Not only will it keep your stuff dry, it makes it easier to move it around the trunk or hatchback when loading groceries, etc. Also, you can easily remove it at the end of the season and store it for next year.

 

Of course, we can never be prepared for every unexpected situation, but it doesn’t hurt to try.  Stay warm and stay safe.

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Dec 02 2015

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Tips for Safe Snow Shoveling this Winter – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Safety,Seasonal

Snow ShovelingWhile fitness fanatics may look as shoveling snow as just another workout, it does pose health risks for others. Many people associate back problems and sore muscles with shoveling the driveway and sidewalk, but there are other risks as well. Shoveling snow is often associated with elevated heart attack rates during the winter months. When it snows this winter, follow these safety tips to maintain your health and avoid injury.

 

  • Check with your doctor if you believe shoveling snow might present a health hazard, especially if you have a heart condition.
  • Stretch your muscles before you begin shoveling.
  • Avoid shoveling soon after you wake up. Slipped disc injuries are more likely to occur in the morning due to the build-up of fluid disc from lying down all night.
  • Drink a lot of water before you begin and stay hydrated while you work.
  • Wear boots with a good rubber sole to prevent slipping and falling.
  • Dress in layers and shed layers of clothing to prevent overheating.
  • When possible, avoid lifting a snow-filled shovel. Instead, it is safer to push the snow off your driveway and sidewalks. If you must lift the snow, be sure to face the direction you are lifting and twist as little as possible.
  • Spray or rub your shovel with lubricant such as WD40 or cooking spray to help prevent snow from sticking to the shovel. The lighter the load, the better for your body.
  • Take frequent breaks.
  • If you become tired and fatigued, put the shovel down and rest. Try again later.

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