Winterís here and it's time to snuggle up for winter and light the fire in the fireplace.It's also time to be sure your hot water isn't going to waste. Here's how you can get ready for winter and save water while you're at it:
Insulate your hot water pipes -- don't let that heat go untrapped! Insulated pipes will cut down on the amount of water wasted waiting for water to run hot. Look for leaks in your pipes and faucets.
Use low-flow shower heads. You can save between 500 and 800 gallons of water per month with these water-saving devices! A smart move is to take shorter showers with a low-flow showerhead. Remember, saving water also saves the cost of gas or electricity used to heat the water.
It is a good idea to keep a check on garden conditions even if not expecting any duties. Try not to shovel salted snow on your plants. Be sure not too forget the over-wintered bulbs and plants for too long. They can dry out. You can plant until the ground freezes hard, but most people are done with that part of their gardening year when the freeze and rains of November arrive. Try to dig any hole for the living Christmas tree previous to wet rainy and freezing weather. It is very hard going, literally, if the ground freezes before you get your tree planted. And speaking of Christmas, any outside lighting you do is best put up before the blast of storms and freezing weather makes this an onerous job.
Plantings to enjoy for winter interest: "Harry Lauders" Contorted Filbert, Contorted willows, Redtwig Dogwood, green-stemmed Kerrias, evergreen shrubs, but especially the Chamaecypress. Berried bushes, showy rosehips, pyracantha, cotoneasters, crab apple trees, all bushes that hold their berries will provide some interest.
Safe Driving Wintertips
Prepare your vehicle for winter driving
- Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights; even the hood and roof before driving.
- Pay attention. Don't try to out-drive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
- Leave room for maintenance vehicles
and plows Ė stay back at
least 200 feet and donít pass on the right.
- Know the current
road conditions. Call 1-800-695-ROAD or 511** for traveler information.
brakes carefully. Brake early. Donít stomp on the brakes.
It takes more time to stop in adverse conditions.
- Watch for slippery
bridge decks, even when the rest of the pavement is in good condition.
Bridge decks will ice up sooner than the adjacent
- Donít use your cruise control in wintry conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the
of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control feature can cause you
to lose control of your vehicle.
- Donít get overconfident in your
4x4 vehicle. Remember that your four-wheel drive vehicle may help you
get going quicker than other
vehicles but it wonít help you stop any faster. Many 4x4 vehicles
are heavier than passenger vehicles and actually may take longer to
stop. Donít get overconfident with your 4x4 vehicleís traction.
Your 4x4 can lose traction as quickly as a two-wheel drive vehicle.
pump anti-lock brakes. If your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes,
do not pump brakes in attempting to stop. The right way is
to ďstomp and steer".
- Look farther ahead in traffic than
you normally do. Actions by cars and trucks will alert you quicker
to problems and gives you that split-second
extra time to safely react.
- Remember that trucks are heavier than cars.
Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop,
so avoid cutting quickly in front
- Go slow! Drive according to conditions.
Reliable transportation is especially important in the winter. Not
only should you keep your vehicle in top operating condition all year
round - for safety and fuel economy - it is especially important to
get it winterized to avoid any unpleasant or dangerous situations while
traveling in frigid weather. Check the following:
- Ignition system
- Fuel system
- Fluid levels
- Exhaust system
- Wiper blades and windshield washer fluid
- Snow tires
- Tire tread and pressure
- Proper grade oil
- Cooling system
Always fill the gasoline tank before entering open country,
even for a short distance, and stop to fill up long before the tank
run low. Keeping your tank as full as possible will minimize condensation,
providing the maximum advantage in case of trouble.
- A citizens band (CB)
radio and/or cellular phone can be very useful to you or another
stranded motorist in case of an emergency.
- Drive with your headlights
- Stock your car with basic winter driving equipment: a scraper
and brush, small shovel, jumper cables, tow chain and a bag of sand
or cat litter
for tire traction.
- Include road flares, a blanket, heavy boots, warm
clothing, and flashlight with batteries.