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home improvement guy

  1. Snow removal

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    To DIY or not to DIY - that's the first question to answer about snow removal.

    If you plan to shoulder all or some of this seasonal chore, take steps to stay healthy:

    If you don't already have a snowblower, consider getting one. Otherwise, get a lightweight, plastic snow shovel with an ergonomic handle to help distribute the load. Use a shovel with a deep scoop to push snow, not lift it.

    Cold weather restricts blood flow. ...
  2. How to check asphalt-shingle roof for winter weakness

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    If it's snowing this morning, do not attempt to do what I'm about to tell you.

    If it's not snowing, then it's time - some would say it's way past the time - to check out your roof for winter.

    Winter weather can be especially hard on roofs. Identifying potential weaknesses in yours now can save you money in the future, the experts say.

    If your roof has asphalt shingles - I just looked up and down my street, and every house ...
  3. Winterizing your home

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    It's wise, before the snow flies (or as soon as possible if flakes have already flown), to take the time to prep your home and property for winter. Very often emergency service calls could have been avoided if homeowners had taken time to winterize or to hire help to get it done.

    Some advice is pretty much perennial. Each year, you have to inspect your home, inside and outside. From the roof to the foundation, check that everything looks ready to weather ...
  4. Debunking heating myths to stay warm, save money

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    Advice about saving money on home heating costs abounds this time of year, but some of it is oversimplified, marketing hype or just plain wrong, while some long-standing myths persist about keeping warm on the cheap.

    For example, programmable thermostats are not the holy grail of home heating, cranking up the furnace does nothing to heat a chilly house faster and fireplaces used as heating sources literally suck - suck paid-for warm air up the chimney. ...
  5. Before you buy a new furnace

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    This time of year, your home heating system may be going through the occasional warm-up lap or it could be in full-blown workout mode already.

    Hopefully, your system is fit for winter duty.

    But if you have doubts, here's advice from HVAC pros:

    - To assess your current system, ask your HVAC contractor to provide a written efficiency analysis and summary of any recommended repairs. Your contractor can do this during an annual tune-up. ...
  6. Tips to winterize your home

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    Now is a good time to winterize your home. Work outside first, because changes in the weather can force you indoors at any time.

    1. Clean the exterior glass. As the weather cools it becomes more difficult to dry the windows because cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air and the glass will streak. You can clean the inside any time of the year.

    2. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clean and that runoff water drains at least ...
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