We asked our members about how to winterize NYC homes and here are their helpful replies...
Tips from Parents:
1. Get an energy audit
"You should call for an Energy Audit. I’m having ours done next Wednesday, I’m not sure of the cost yet but I believe it is covered by various incentives. After the audit you can become eligible for incentives offered by National Grid and NY SERDA for up to 20% of the cost of any weatherization measures done. We had a free audit done by a guy from National Grid who was knowledgeable but he was basically there to get people to take advantage of the weatherization incentives (which need an actual audit to qualify). My feeling is that no matter how much we spend on weatherization, we’ll get it back in lower heating bills."
"National Grid has a service for businesses or multi-family dwellings where they do have an online analyzer and an onsite audit etc. Check it out here."
2. Insulate any drafty places, like an attic.
"The most important measure is probably insulating the attic and sealing any airspaces up there (If you insulate without sealing, you are basically creating a giant, expensive air filter). If your house is a rowhouse, you probably aren’t losing too much energy from the walls."
Parent safety reminder: "Is your house ventilated? You don’t want to start sealing everything up and not have enough clean ventilation."
3. Check Windows
"Are your windows in good shape? Is there a lot of air infiltration? If so you could install drapes or storm windows in lieu of replacing them this year."
4. Check how water pipers/ hot water heaters
"Are your hot water pipes insulated near the boiler and hot water heater? Is your hot water heater insulated (put your hand on the top, if it’s warm, you should put on an insulation jacket (less than $20 from Lowe’s)."
5. Weatherstrip exterior doors
6. Seal cracks
"My guy did things like seal the baseboard carcks (normal with settling over the years), seal the windows with plastic, cover the a/c (in mwall) units from the outside, etc.
7. Remove ACs
"Upstairs in my son's room we had an a/c in the window and removed completely as well as sealing the baseboards and it was simply amazing how much warmer his room was afterwards."
8. Check the web for more tips.
One member recommends Winterizing an Apartment
9. Get your gutters cleaned
Did you know that clogged drains can cause ice dams and other water damage?
10. Check for leaks
11. Replace your window screens with storm windows.
12. Keep throws and blankets in each room; have cozy sweatshirts and sweaters near by
13. Cook using the oven will also warm up your place
14. Use thicker curtains and drapes and keep them closed
15. Move furniture away from windows and by interior walls
16. Check smoke alarm batteries
17. Check Furnaces
A dirty furnace filter makes it run less efficiently.
18. Use the reverse switch on your ceiling fan
This will circulate the warm air in the room.
Related reading on Park Slope Parents:
For many of us today is an day off from school and a time when we try to arrange things to do with the kids to fill the time. I did, however, want to take a minute to also remind folks that it’s Veterans Day, a day to remember the soldiers who have served (or are serving) in the nations armed forces. Do you know that it was on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November (the 11th month) of 1918 they signed the Armistice Treaty (I didn’t). And the difference between Memorial Day (honoring those who have died) and Veterans Day (honoring all soldiers past and present)?
The History Channel has a little history lesson on today’s date (see here), and there are lots of YouTube Videos that you can watch about the day and honoring soldiers. There is also a Veterans Day Parade in the city. It kicks off at 11:15 from 26th Street and 5th Ave up to 52nd. It’s also televised on some of the major networks. Lots to watch and read about the day.
Here’s the original wording of the resolution from 1926:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.
This holiday always catches me a little by surprise and I’m not sure what to do or say to my kids. Perhaps talking about bravery, courage and patriotism and what freedom means to people? Talking about people we know who are soldiers (my father, brother, and niece)? Talk about how my father was an Air Force pilot and that he was in the Korean War? I’m not 100% sure, but I’d be remiss to let the day go by without something about who has fought and won our freedoms.
(Daughter to Col. Loren Fox)
Thanks for those of you who are posting the Department of Health information about the EV-D68 enterovirus.
With school back in session and classes well underway, kids coming in contact a lot more with each other. It's important we talk and teach them about public health safety.
Regardless of which virus, remember:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Use the same precautions you would use to prevent the spread of influenza.
Here are some other ways to stop the spread of infection:
- Have kids wash their hands when they come home from school.
- Wash hands after being on the subway, going shopping, or being out and about. Make it a habit to wash when you get home..
- Wash dishes well and don’t reuse glasses.
- Remind kids not to share things such as chapstick, towels, razors, toothbrushes, etc.
- Don’t pick your nose (and keep your kids from picking theirs – or yours!).
- Clean the “green 11s.”
- Keep tissues handy to clean off kid snot before they get it on their hand, to get it on the school banister, etc.
- Cover your mouth (not your hand) with your arm when you sneeze or cough. Teach your kids to do this religiously (have them practice)
- Use safe cooking (and sex!) practices
DO NOT SEND YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL SICK! It doesn’t matter if they are in 4th grade and you fell the “but absences matter” pressure — keep them home for everyone’s benefit.
Keep the pathways to infection clear to reduce the ability of “bugs” to get in your body.
The first day of school is coming up in the next few weeks. With that comes first Day of School jitters. Your child may be nervous. You may be nervous. Big Changes are afoot and they can be scary.
Here's a new song called "Forever Friends" from the Bright Sides about starting school.
Summer's end means changing childcare needs for many of us, whether hiring a nanny or moving on from a current nanny is on the horizon. Whatever your situation, we have tons of information to guide you as you make the best choices for your family.
Hiring a Nanny?
The 2014 Park Slope Parents Guide to Hiring a Nanny [Beta] is a combination of best-practices, insights and honest expressions culled from years of experience by a diverse group of parents who have all been where you are now. It includes:
Need an after school nanny/babysitter? We asked you for ideas and experiences, and have put together the PSP Guide to Hiring an After School Sitter.
Park Slope Parents strongly recommends you have a work agreement in place. Get yours here.
Does Your Nanny Need a Job?
Be sure to review our "Helping Your Nanny Find A Job" info on the PSP Website.
Need to post about your nanny? Please see the updated PSP requirements including our required template for nanny recommendations! We have a dedicated nanny moderator so it can take 24-36 hours for your message to post.
Saying "Goodbye" to your nanny? See our tips to help with the transitions including severance pay, goodbye partings, and more.
We have a section for nannies! Send your caregiver the PSP "Information For Nannies" guide with tips and advice to help them secure their next job.
Creating a Nanny Share?
We have updated The PSP Guide to a Successful Nanny Share to include tips from what works (and what doesn't) to salary information, scheduling advice and more.
Let us know if you have any questions or concerns in your search or posting process by emailing " onclick="window.open(this.href,'','scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,location=yes,menubar=yes,status=yes,toolbar=yes,left=0,top=0');return false;"> .
In the meantime, happy summer and best of luck.
See you around the Slope.
Melissa and Susan,
Park Slope Parents