of the cold weather?
Declare a snow day, get
some stuff done indoors!
bad news is that nothing but more below-zero temperatures and snow are
predicted for the next few days.
good news is that Frentz and Sons Hardware, like many of their
counterparts, is momentarily sold out of ice melting chemicals and
snow shovels – at least until the middle of next week, when a
new shipment arrives.
on top of that, Frentz and Sons is closing for New Year’s Eve and
New Year’s Day.
under the circumstances there’s only one thing to do: Take your
boots off, close the door, and declare a snow day.
Frentz says since this cold and snow snap started a mere three weeks
ago, they’ve gone through more than 1500 bags of ice melter.
Jeez...and winters only just begun!
got ‘em right now,” John says of the ice melters, noting that most
of the chemical suppliers are out the melters themselves.
next shipment will be in by the middle of next week, but it looks as
though it could go just as fast,” John says. As supporting evidence,
John pointed to last Wednesday, when a shipment arrived bearing, among
other things, 72 snow roof rakes. “We had 72 in, and 72 out. They
were gone the same day,” John says.
keeps track of the weather, more in the style of a journal than as an
almanac to predict storms. But two years ago, when Oakland County got
buried by a snow storm the day after New Year’s Day, John figured we
wouldn’t see another winter like that one for at least a decade.
why John isn’t a TV weather guy. Then again, wouldn’t you like a
well-paying job where everyone expects you to be wrong at least 80
percent of the time?
If your work ethic just won’t let you sit still, John says there are
some things you can consider doing around the house:
your screens in to be repaired. They’re all out of the windows right
now,” John says. If you’re of a mind to do that, best be quick
about it. Russ, the guy who does screens so artfully for Frentz and
Sons, is going in for heart surgery in a couple weeks.
Think hard about putting up gutter tapes once spring breaks. It’s
not something you can do now, and while it’s not rocket science,
putting up gutter tapes probably isn’t the easiest thing you’ll
do. “But they really work,” John says. “I’ve had mine up for
18 years. Once you put them up, you’re done.” Frentz and Sons
and Gutter Cables in varying lengths – John will help you
figure out how much you need and explain the installation process.
Put a lock de-icer on your key chain (but wait until the middle of
next week – Frentz and Sons is sold out of those, too). “Those are
only good, though, if it’s really water in the lock, and it
has frozen,” John says. “Often, it’s really salt that’s just
messing up the lock. You can get rid of that with a quick hit from a
can of WD-40.”
a tip to keep your locks from freezing. “Before you go through the
car wash, put a piece of masking tape over each lock. You know that
big blast of air you get at the end? It blows the water right into the
lock, but the tape will keep it out,” John says.
Replace your furnace filter, even though you probably just put it in a
few weeks ago. “With the weather being as cold as it has been, your
furnace has been running a lot more than usual,” John says. “Most
of the time a good filter lasts for a season. If it were me, I’d
replace it at the end of December, or at the latest by the middle of January.”
filters make a furnace work harder than necessary because air
doesn’t circulate as easily. The harder your furnace works, the
higher your already high gas bill is going to be.
There are other things you can do to lower your heating bill, such as
installing interior plastic storm windows; insulating pipes (which not
only keeps them from freezing and cracking, but keeps the water
warmer. That means your water heater doesn’t fire up as often as it
usually does, and you save fuel expenses); and checking around the
basement for holes drilled through to the outside – like those
drilled for cable access. You can get a can of insulating foam to seal
the hole and cut the draft.