Sunday, November 24, 2013

Winter Prep

     I have a cold front heading in my direction. 
     I have to clean the space heaters before plugging them in.  They have been stored since last March and even in their storage closet there may be flammable dust in the element.  I unscrew the faceplate, vacuum and wipe out the interior and then put it back together. 
    For safety, and to keep everyone walking past the space heater aware of it's presence, I place a heat resistant cutting board on the floor and the heater centered on top of it.  A fire blanket may seem like a good substitute, but, NO!  The blanket is good to have in case of a fire to smother the flames, but it is a thick fluffy thing that could allow the heater to bounce or rattle when someone walks by.  Set the heater in a flat level area away from flammables like curtains, tablecloths and out of main walkways.  Keep a fire extinguisher or fire blanket nearby.

     Speaking of blankets, I have stationed the extra blankets under each of the beds.  I use a feather bed as part of my warming system for sleep.  I have made my bed for the light cold I am expecting.  I also have issued the poncho liner my grandson would wrap himself in year round, if I let him!  

Visqueen in window frame
     The windows are ready for a new experiment.  I posted, Things to Do With Bubble Wrap and I am going to use the bubble wrap on windows this year.  Normally, I staple a layer of visqueen over the windows from frame edge to frame edge, but this looks faster, easier and easier to remove at the end of the season.  

     I have a long narrow hallway that starts just past the refrigerator wall of the kitchen and leads to a craft room, a bedroom and a bathroom.  To save on energy costs, I use a spring loaded extendable curtain rod across the opening and I hang a velvet curtain.  The curtain does not hang from ceiling to floor, which is good.  Hot air rises.  The curtain rod hangs with the curtain flush at the top and hangs down to about six inches above the floor.  It keeps the warm air in the main part of the house.  

     Later in the season, I will hang a similar curtain over the front door.  It is made of two panels for ease of going in and out.  But, It serves the same purpose, keeping the heat in.  You can part the curtain, step through, then open the door to the outside and go out, keeping the heat in as you go.  It works on the same principle as those plastic strips you see hanging across the refrigerated sections of warehouse superstores.  Instead of keeping cold in, we are keeping it out.

    Also, for the winter change of weather, it is time to prep the car.  I top off the antifreeze in the radiator and give it a good going over.  Checking tire pressures since cold comes with rain, and all the other fluid levels too.  A crisp cold morning is no time to lift the hood of a car to check the oil and anti freeze.  I do it in the heat of the day in broad daylight.  I also have a seat cover to keep my bottom from loosing heat in the morning.  Maintaining the bodies heat is more important than creating heat.  

     It's just a few steps to get ready, but it's worth the effort.  Taking a few steps forward now before the temperature drops is worth the reward of not scrambling around for a spare blanket in the middle of the night or searching for a suitable sweater first thing on a crisp morning.  


No comments: