For about $80 to $100, a technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and in good repair, and that it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency.
If you act soon, you'll minimize the chance of being 200th in line for repairs on the coldest day of the year.
If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan's blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings -- and it might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings.
If your home had lots of icicles last winter -- or worse, ice dams, which can cause meltwater to back up and flow into your house -- take steps to prevent potential damage this year. A home-energy auditor or weatherization contractor can identify and fix air leaks and inadequate insulation in your home's attic that can lead to ice dams. If your roof is flat and surfaced with asphalt and pebbles, as many are in the Southwest, rake or blow off fall leaves and pine needles, which hold moisture, says Bill Richardson, past president of the American Society of Home Inspectors, in Albuquerque. Richardson says that if the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. Try GE's Silicone II Window and Door product, which is “rain ready” in three ($6 at Home Depot). If your gutters are full of detritus, water can back up against the house and damage roofing, siding and wood trim -- plus cause leaks and ice dams. You'll typically pay $70 to $225 to clean gutters on a single-story house, depending on its size. Add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation, says home-improvement expert David Lupberger.
If you don’t have frost-proof faucets (homes more than ten to 15 years old typically do not), turn off the shut-off valve inside your home. Mow your leaves instead of raking them, say studies at the University of Michigan and Purdue.

Use your lawn mower without its bag, and optionally swap the cutting blade for a mulching blade (about $15 to $25). As the mower sits through the winter, fuel remaining in its engine will decompose, "varnishing" the carburetor and causing difficulty when you try to start the engine in the spring.
John Deere offers these preventive steps: If you've added stabilizer to your fuel to keep it fresh longer, then fill the gas tank to the top with more stabilized fuel and run the engine briefly to allow it to circulate. You may be tempted to get out the pruning shears after the leaves fall, when you can first see the underlying structure of the plant.
To get advice specific to your plants and region, consult master gardeners at local nurseries or horticulturalists with your state university's cooperation extension department. This veggie pot pie is stuffed with creamy filling and savory tofu cubes.Get the recipe from Healthy. Buttery scrambled tofu with veggies and soy cheese is the perfect way to start your day.Get the recipe from Healthy. A luscious layered cheesy-tomato lasagna is a delicious place to stuff thin sauteed slices of tofu.Get the recipe from Healthy.
A classic watermelon and feta salad goes vegan with these white miso-infused tofu cubes, watermelon and fresh basil.Get the recipe from Healthy.
Thick steaks of sumac and ginger slathered tofu makes a delicious meal when paired with red quinoa.Get the recipe from Healthy. This pumpkin pudding is just one way to blend silken tofu into a creamy no-cook pudding in minutes! Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
These steps, most of which you can do yourself, will help lower your utility bills and protect your investment. Look for a heating and air-conditioning contractor that belongs to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and employs technicians certified by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) program.

Energy Star says the fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises). If you have the work done before December 31, 2013, you can claim the federal energy-efficiency tax credit for 10% of the cost (excluding installation), up to $500. Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles that may leak during winter’s storms or from melting snow. The trick is to cut the leaves, while dry, into dime-sized pieces that will fall among the grass blades, where they will decompose and nourish your lawn over the winter. If not, wait until the tank is nearly empty from use and run the engine (outdoors) to use up the remaining fuel. But horticulturalists advise waiting to prune until late winter for most plants, when they've been long dormant and just before spring growth begins. One exception: You may need to hire an arborist to remove deadfall or trim limbs close to your home or power lines that could cause problems in a winter storm. Simply blend in some silken tofu for a tasty texture that will give your muffins body - and add protein! The contractor should follow the protocol for ACCAs "national standard for residential maintenance" (or the QM, short for "quality maintenance"). Add weatherstripping as needed around doors, making sure you cannot see any daylight from inside your home. But by the end of this recipe slideshow, I bet you will find a dish that inspires you to put tofu on your menu soon. Tofu is a healthy food to feed your family because it is rich in vegetarian soy protein (7g per 3 ounces), low in fat and can be cooked and prepared in a wide variety of ways.

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Rubric: Business Emergency Preparedness


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