Here are 5 more things you should know.
01. Don’t cut an uprooted tree all by yourself
Cutting an uprooted tree can result in the tree springing back up to its original position and has killed people. I just saw a video of a tree uprooting and falling from the hurricane and wanted to share how hazardous it can be attempting to cut up the tree on your own.
The rootball acts as a huge counterweight and once enough weight is cut away from the tree many times the tree will spring back to upright. That act has hit people cutting the tree and in a few cases has crushed kids playing under the root ball. Story here. Leave it to the professionals, ask for proof of insurance and make sure they can provide references (don’t choose some joker on Craigslist with a chainsaw and a pickup).
Here is a video of it happening.
02. Avoid washing meat and poultry
It’s actually a bad habit that results in the spreading of harmful bacteria around the kitchen. The US Department of Agriculture and various other sources have reported that washing meat is actually bad because you can spread the harmful bacteria around your kitchen. Any bacteria already on your meat is going to stay there, but will be killed in the cooking process. It is important to note that almost all meat you buy is clean enough to cook already.
03. How to make your apartment warmer
Since the winter is coming, here are a few techniques to keep your apartment warm (mind you, many of these will also work for houses).
· Make sure that the in-house heating system is not obstructed. If you have forced air, radiators, baseboard heating, etc. do not put furniture over the heat source. Blocking the heat source is one of the easiest ways to make your in-house heating less efficient and have it feel like it is not working properly. Rearrange your furniture if you have to, trying to keep bulky furniture (couch, bed, dresser, whatever) away from the heat source by at least 6 inches.
· Windows leech a lot of heat. There are several things you can do to prevent this from being a main source of heat loss. The cheapest thing to try is installing weather stripping on your windows to prevent a draft. If that isn’t enough you could buy a plastic kit at Walmart/ Home Depot/ etc. where you tape plastic over the window (around the edges) and shrink the plastic in place using a hair dryer. Another technique is to buy thermal curtains to block the cold air out and keep the warm air in. These are a decently expensive option, but they definitely work and can even make your apartment more private.
· Like windows, doors also have a tendency to let cold air in. You can weather strip the doors in your house around the edges to prevent drafts. In addition to this, you can keep an old towel at the base of the door to prevent drafts that way. If your door has windows, be sure to put thermal curtains over the windows to prevent the cold from entering by way of the glass.
· If your apartment has hardwood or tile floors, then you may want to consider buying an area rug or at least laying down towels to keep your feet warm as you walk around.
· Are there any rooms/closets in your house that are particularly cold and not often used? Make sure the doors to these areas are closed tight, and that drafts from these areas are blocked with weather stripping. No door to speak of? Hang a thermal curtain to prevent heat from escaping your living areas.
· Is your bed too cold? Check in your lease or with your landlord about use of an electric blanket. Because electric blankets only heat the bed and not the whole house, it is often not against a lease to use one and when compared to space heaters they are more energy efficient (which might be a big consideration if you pay electric).
· Increasing the humidity also helps. You can do this via multiple strategies like running a hot bath, boiling big pots of water, etc. The easiest way to continually do this is probably to buy a humidifier.
· Make sure that your air is circulating. Otherwise, your air can layer with the hot air being out of reach near the ceiling and the cold air resting annoyingly on the floor. Fans aren’t just for summer.
· Other tricks involve cooking/baking meals that take a while to cook (like pot roast, chili, stew, cakes, etc.). Busting out that crock pot can keep your house warm and smelling good, as well as providing you with low maintenance delicious nutrition.
· Still too cold? Buy a thermometer, and if it’s less than 65 degree Farenheit, you might want to ask your landlord to raise the heat.
04. Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US
It results in 15,000-22,000 annual death. Testing and corrective action is recommended, and some houses or even rooms have much higher levels than others. Make sure if you are buying a house to get a radon test, if you are in an area with a basement anyway. It’s a huge issue in the Midwest.
05. Low cost internet for poor
If you or someone you know is below the 200% poverty level or currently enrolled in an income-based government assistance program, you can get unlimited Sprint 4g LTE wifi data for $120 a year. Of course, Sprint is terrible in rural areas when you’re more than 5 miles from a major highway, but it’s pretty good in town.
If you qualify for housing assistance, you might be able to get Internet for $10/month. Comcast has a program for people receiving housing assistance and for seniors to get low-cost internet. You might as well take advantage of it if you can. Here is the link.