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Winter is Fast Approaching

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By Joe Novak

Waking up to 3 inches of snow in early November is a real possibility here in Northeast Ohio. Not waking up at all is also possible if some critter built a nest blocked your exhaust pipe on your home furnace and carbon monoxide filled your house. Rodents and insects can build nests in the most obscure places as they seek a home to overwinter in. Setting mouse traps in my house attic and garages is an annual event every fall.

If you or any member of your family is waking up with headaches after turning on your house heat, you most likely have a serious problem that can’t be ignored. Have your home heating system checked as soon as possible and if the HVAC Company can’t come out, call your local fire department and see if they will perform a Carbon Monoxide test. Hundreds of people die every year, they never wake up; sometimes entire families. 

Have you looked at your snow removal equipment to see if it will start? Waiting until all the other procrastinators show up at the repair shop is a lesson in frustration.

Putting your summer equipment away correctly will save you money and frustration next year. Put storage Stay-bil into your gas and run the engine dry until it stalls. If you store your lawn mower in an unheated garage, wait till spring to change your oil since condensation can build up during winter and water and oil don’t mix unless you’re making salad dressing.

Have you checked your vehicles antifreeze, heater and particularly the cabin air filter? I have found rodent nests and debris so thick that almost no air could pass through. It is normally hidden behind the glove box and so simple to change; why pay $98 for a $10 part? If you park your vehicle outside or in an unheated garage, consider using synthetic oil; your vehicle along with snow removal equipment will start easier and last longer. I am not a fan of synthetic blends since they don’t state what percent is synthetic. If only 1 percent is synthetic, it is still a blend. 

Now is the time to gather gloves, scarfs, hats, winter coats and boots; missing the school bus because you can’t find warm clothing can be embarrassing. 

Australia had a severe flu season with many deaths; the flu moves to the U S as it makes its way around the world. Get a flu shot, quantities are low and some places will soon run out.

Joe Joke: What do snowmen eat for breakfast? Frosted Flakes!

To find out what Joe would do, e-mail questions to editorial@middlefieldpost.com. Joe has 20-some years experience in manufacturing and says that as a small business owner, he found that you either learn how to solve a problem yourself or pay to have it done. Joe’s articles are his opinion and are only intended as a guide. Please consult an expert when in doubt.

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