Monthly Archives: December 2014

4 Cold Weather Basics: Winter Storm Emergencies (Part 4)

Are you ready for winter’s next storm emergency? We’re here to help you navigate all the challenges of the season with part four of a special edition on our blog, outlining the basics of cold weather preparedness. Today, we’re talking about severe winter weather readiness.

Winter storms can make the flow of every life stop short, dumping snow on roads and sidewalks over a few hours, to producing blinding blizzard conditions that last for several days. No matter where you live, you can also experience dangerously low temperatures, strong winds, ice, sleet and freezing rain during a winter storm – strong enough to knock out heat, electricity and phone service to your home, school or place of business – for days.

Winter Storm EmergenciesHome Emergency Kit

When a winter storm hits, homeowners can alleviate some of this immobilization and inconvenience by being prepared for severe winter weather in advance. Equip your home with enough emergency supplies to last four days without power or help. Include enough food and water, a first aid kit, batteries, flashlightsextension cords, battery powered clock/radio, a cellular phone, etc. Personal items such as cold-weather clothing for every family member, as well as a four-day supply of prescription medicines, blankets, toiletries and food and water for pets are also essential.

Personal Heat Supply

Make sure you have enough heating fuel in case regular fuel sources are cut off. If you have a wood stove or fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood. Buy or rent a power generator and know how to run it safely. Read “Your First Winter Must-Have: A Portable Generator” to learn more. Rent or buy space heaters that can run by generator or an alternate power supply such as gas or propane –to heat the air in your home as well as outside, if necessary. Review our infographic, “Portable Heaters: What You Need to Know.”

Add A Humidifier

Cold, dry winter air causes a variety of conditions in your home that can promote illness, as well as destroy property. Using a humidifier can raise low humidity levels 20 to 30 percent, helping to prevent colds and flu as well as bloody noses. Air moistened with a humidifier can help soothe the throat and bronchial tubes, reduce snoring, preserve the voice and moisturize skin. Humidified air protects wood floors and furnishings from splitting or cracking and keeps indoor plants healthier.

Using a humidifier will also make your home feel warmer. Experts say air with a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 10 percent humidity will feel like 67 degrees, but with 50 percent humidity, it will feel like it is 69 degrees. It will also control static electricity, with the added benefit of protecting electronic equipment from getting damaged. Humidifiers also monitor moisture levels in your home, discouraging too much moisture, which can contribute to the growth of bad organisms such as dust mites.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with the cold weather basics of winter emergency preparedness. For all other installments in this series, check out the post about snow removal, the post about insulating your home and the post about winterizing windows, doors and vents. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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4 Cold Weather Basics: Winterizing Windows, Doors and Vents (Part 3)

How much heat is lost through windows, doors and vents in the winter? We’re here to help you navigate all the challenges of the season with the third of a four-part special edition on our blog, outlining the basics of cold weather preparedness. Today, we’re talking about winterizing windows, doors and vents.

Winterizing Your Doors, Windows and Vents1. TLC for Drafty Windows

Windows let the warm sunshine into a room, and can also let heat escape to the outside. Even triple-pane glass windows can benefit from a little winterizing. Install storm windows, if you have them, or you can create an efficient – and less expensive – solution using plastic sheeting designed to insulate windows. Properly installed, plastic sheeting creates a seal with the glass, keeping moisture out and preventing heat loss, while the smooth, almost invisible seal lets the light shine in.

Cut the plastic sheeting a few inches larger than each window. Apply the sheeting to the inside of clean windows, using double-sided tape to secure it to the window sill and the wall. Apply heat to the plastic with a hair dryer or heat gun until the sheeting shrinks against the window and creates the seal. Trim any excess plastic if needed.

2. Weather-Stripping for Windows & Doors

Experts say homeowners can save up to 15 percent on energy bills by weather-stripping windows and doors. You can find many types of weather stripping at your local home center such as foam tape, sponge rubber, vinyl tubing, silicone air barriers, felt and V-strip or tension seals. Good for both windows and doors, these types of weather stripping peel and stick, fasten with screws, press into place or come attached to a metal or wood mounting strip. Most attach to the tops and bottoms of doors and windows with ease, working as a barrier against the elements. The V-strip uses a tension seal created by its “V’ shape.

Door sweeps are attached to the bottom, interior side of a door and use a strip made from nylon, plastic or vinyl, or a sponge brush to fill the space between the floor and door.

3. Try Register Covers

One of most overlooked winterizing projects is to cover central air conditioning AC vents, or registers. They are essentially large holes in the ceiling where heat can escape right into the duct work. Cover the air conditioning ducts using magnetic ceiling register covers. If the register is made from aluminum, you can make a cover from plastic and attach it with Velcro strips or even thin weather stripping. When it comes to floors, keep cold at bay by close foundation vents and covering them with Styrofoam vent covers.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with the cold weather basics of winterizing your windows, doors and vents. For other installments in this series, check out the post about snow removal and the post about insulating your home. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] 11 Popular Rental Items for Your Holiday Entertaining

It’s that time of year – endless Christmas and New Years parties, family get-togethers, gift exchanges, and all the fun festivities that the holidays bring. However, with all the planning and preparation that goes into such events, you may like a few tips on which equipment and around-the-house supplies may make it easier. Check out the infographic below for 11 rental items that are perfect for your winter-time entertaining.

Holiday Entertaining Infographic

1. Ladder | 2. Snow Blower | 3. Generator | 4. Extension Cords | 5. Vacuum | 6. Patio Heater | 7. Table and Chairs | 8. Lighting | 9. Grill | 10. Wet Dry Vacuum | 11. Carpet Cleaner

This isn’t an exhaustive list of equipment Runyon rents for events and parties, but it gives you a give taste of what there is available. Be sure to visit the website if you have additional inquiries, or contact us for more specific information. Happy Holidays!

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4 Cold Weather Basics: Insulating Your Home (Part 2)

Cold Weather Basics Part 2 - Home InsulationProtect your home from winter’s wrath! We’re here to help you navigate all the challenges of the season with the second of a four-part special edition on our blog, outlining the basics of cold weather preparedness. Today, we’re talking insulation.

Winterizing your home with insulation is one of the most economical – and efficient – ways to save energy, keeping you and your family warm and toasty. In addition to caulking, weather-stripping and installing storm windows and doors (or covering them with plastic), adding insulation to walls and attics (even floors, basements, garages, barns, sheds or any place that provides shelter for your family and pets, livestock and equipment) can make a difference keeping warm air in and cold air out.

1. Twelve to 15 inches of roll insulation in your attic is one of the easiest ways to achieve insulation protection. Do-it-yourself insulating is simplified when you use an insulation vacuum and blower, which blow insulating foam into the area.

For more information on how to insulate your attic, read this blog post.

2. Consider closing off the attic using a sheet of plywood to cover the opening. To cut down on cold air leaking into the living space, create an airtight seal by attaching foam insulation pads to the back of the attic door and applying foam weather stripping tape around it, just as you would any other door. You can also install an insulated attic tent that fits over the pull-down stairs (if applicable).

3. Insulate pipes to keep them from freezing. Insulating hot water pipes will help decrease the cost of hot water, too. Cut pre-slit high R-value pipe foam to size and fasten it in pace with duct tape. Take it up a notch by wrapping (or re-wrapping) your hot water tank, using an insulation blanket and securing it tightly around the tank (tankless water heaters do not need this precaution). Seal air ducts in your attic and basement using a roll of HVAC foil tape, available at home centers. Simply wrap the tape around joints and secure.

4. One place you may not think about is your light switches and outlets. These holes in the wall are usually covered with thin plastic covers that probably provide little protection against cold air leaking into the living space. Install pre-cut foam gaskets underneath your light switch and outlet covers, which will act like weather stripping in the smallest places. Hey, every little bit counts!

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with the cold weather basics of insulating your home. For the first installment in this series, check out the first post about snow removal. From insulation equipment, accessories and everything in-between, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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4 Cold Weather Basics: Your Guide to Snow Removal (Part 1)

Cold Weather Basics Part 1 - Snow RemovalHow prepared are you for winter this year? We’re here to help you navigate all the challenges of the season with the first of a four-part special edition of our blog, outlining the basics of cold weather preparedness. Today, we’re talking snow removal.

From clearing walkways to freeing your car of snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice, keep your family and guests safe by stocking up on a few products that help you remove cold weather precipitation with ease. In addition to checking the anti-freeze in your cars, make sure to have extra on hand in the garage. Keep at least one window scraper in each of your cars and one in the garage, for hard-to-lift ice that can blur your line of sight while driving. If the locks on your car, or on your front door, get frozen shut, a spray can of deicer can help tremendously. It can also help free windows from ice, allowing them to open as usual.

Heavy Snow Removal

Large amounts of snow can be removed using a snow blower. The deicer can also help clear the machine’s moving parts of ice and compacted snow, along with a wire brush and a spray can of lubricant. Make sure to test the snow blower before a storm and keep the necessary spare parts ready in case they’re needed.

Whether you use a snow blower or not, there is almost always a need to shovel snow. An ordinary snow shovel can be a homeowner’s best friend this winter, as predictions for Arctic blasts in eastern United States remain pretty high. Maintain a shovel like any other piece of equipment, hammering out areas of the metal that get crumpled with use, tightening loose handles or removing burrs from plastic.

Take care of yourself, too. Here are four tips for safe snow shoveling:

  1. Prepare physically for the task. As with any physical exercise, stretch legs, back and shoulders before you start. Dress warmly in loose-fitting layers that come off easily as you exert yourself, but can be added quickly during a rest. Pace yourself and rest frequently, keeping hydrated. And when you’re done, stretch tired muscles once more, to avoid tight, inflamed body parts.
  1. Have a snow removal plan. Decide where you will dump the snow. Start by brushing off the cars then clearing around them, moving the first shovelfuls to the farthest edge of the driveway, so the last shovelfuls are moved the shortest distance. This way, you won’t have to move the snow twice, if it’s piled in the way of more snow that needs to be removed. Work in thin layers and several passes, which is easier and safer than hefting one over-heavy shovelful.
  1. Use a healthy technique. Shoveling snow is hard work. Use your large leg muscles to lift shovelfuls and push snow out of way as much as possible. Use your knees to squat, holding the shovel as close to your upper body as possible, protecting your back. Hold the shovel with two hands (one close to the blade) for better leverage. Get your shoulder muscles into the throwing action, avoiding a twist in your upper body as much as possible.
  2. Let Mother Nature help the melting process. After removing heavy snow from driveways, sidewalks and other walkways around your house, keep them clear with ice melt. Check if the ice melt you buy can be used on concrete (especially new concrete) as certain formulas can cause new concrete to fail. Then, let the strong winter sun do the rest.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with the cold weather basics of snow removal. From snow blowers to rent or buy, to shovels and everything in-between, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Effectively Winterize Your Home With Lube-A-Boom®

Winterize Your Home With Lube-A-BoomMany homeowners are in the process of preparing their homes and yard equipment for winter. Winterizing not only protects their property from cold weather and storm damage, it helps to maintain it –extending the life of machine parts and blocking winter’s chill from entering living space, keeping families safer and investments more viable.

Indianapolis, IN-based LAB, LLC is the maker of Lube-A-Boom®, a line of lubricants that reduces friction and provides excellent corrosion and rust protection, which helps to give machine parts a longer life. Well-known in the lift industry for specialty lubricants used on cranes, forklifts, aerial lifts, telehandlers, telescoping booms, excavators, pins, bushings, bearings, wreckers and tow trucks, Lube-A-Boom products can also assist homeowners with residential winterizing – such as Lube-A-Boom® Clear.

Lube-A-Boom® Clear Heavy-Duty Silicone Lubricant is a multi-purpose aerosol spray that is safe to use on almost any kind of surface or component, helping them to slide, roll or rotate more easily and prevent squeaking. Once applied, it lubricates and penetrates, which extends the life of components and machinery. The lubricant leaves a clear, anti-corrosive film, which is impervious to water and prevents rust. Additional benefits include:

  • Multi-purpose
  • Safe on most surfaces
  • Reduces friction
  • Provides a clear film
  • Improves water resistance

Homeowners can use Lube-A-Boom Clear much like other silicone products, penetrating oil or water-displacing spray to let windows, doors and other house features move more smoothly or close tightly. It’s also great to use if you also want a clear, water-resistant layer left on the surface rather than a black, greasy residue.

Made in the USA. Founded in 2002 by Harley and Marilyn Wilson, the Lube-A-Boom company continues to be family-owned, manufacturing its products in the United States. The product line itself was conceived after Harley Wilson determined the industry simply needed a product that “was slicker, stayed on and lasted longer,” as well as produced according to his chemical specifications. After months of formulation, field and laboratory testing, Lube-A-Boom friction reducing lubricant had its first production run in July, 2003.

Now a staple in a number of equipment manufacturing operations as well as the U.S. Marine Corps, Lube-A-Boom performs beautifully in many different environments, including extreme heat in places like Iraq to extreme cold, in places like Iceland, and works exceptionally well in coastal regions all over the world because it has excellent water and salt water resistance.

Expert Advice:

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with all your wintering projects. We are an authorized dealer for Lube-A-Boom products. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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How-To Properly Deck Your Home in Christmas Lights

Deck Your Home for the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner, which means if you don’t already have your Christmas lights and outdoor decorations put up, now is the time. It’s always so fun getting in a festive Christmas spirit, and decking out your house with lights creates the perfect ambiance. However, in order to hang lights properly it’s important to understand which ladder is right for the job.

Lifts Versus Ladders
  • Boom lifts are ideal for really involved light displays, especially for tall buildings, churches, homes and trees, a boom lift may be your best bet. They can reach much higher than a ladder and they’re sturdy and easily mobile. The Cities of Westfield and Carmel and many churches use a 56′ towable lift for instance. This is useful if you are hanging lights on a large spruce tree for the top.
  • Extension or step ladders are more suited for doing lights around your roof. When choosing an extension ladder, consider one that is about 6″ taller than your highest point so it lays securely on the roof.  Another thing to consider is the pitch so the ladder will extend over bushes and other landscaping, so as not to damage anything.
Other Helpful Christmas Lighting Accessories
  • Gloves are super helpful when hanging lights on bushes and trees. Truly, I learned the hard way and ended up with multiple small cuts on both hands.
  • You will also need extension cords. When purchasing cord/s, you want to look for outdoor cords, specifically made for outside lights (able to withstand low temperatures). Also, 10/3 can hold more amps than 12/3. Be mindful not to overload the outlet so as not to trip your breaker.
  • Staple guns are also ideal for securing lights and garlands to the roof or other areas of your home. There are even staplers specifically made for roofs and siding.
Tempe Tips

Inside your home, be leery of how you position window candles. I burned my wooden shutters in the window with one of those fake window candles. Little candelabra light bulbs do get very hot, so make sure they are on only when window curtains, shutters, blinds, etc. are open.

For more tips on how to choose a ladder and safety tips when putting up your Christmas lights and decorations, check out this past blog post. For general holiday safety tips, read this post. Also, feel free to reach out with any questions about which equipment to use, additional tips and pricing.

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