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Your Latest Questions
Answered by Beth Hodge

NOTE - These questions will soon be moved to their proper category (inside, out, kitchen, etc)

Q) We get a lot of icicles in the cold weather. Is it best to leave them or break off what we can with a broom handle or something (being very careful of course.)? Also, is there an easy way to prevent them from forming?

A. I try never to break icicles off only because of the danger of them falling, or breaking a window or loosening my gutters. If they are forming in the gutters, you could try to be sure the gutters are not obstructed so no water will back up and freeze.

If they are clear you may want to invest in 'heat tape'. It is a thin material that you can lay in the bottom of your gutters, it plugs in at one end and keep a temperature above freezing so you do not get the ice buildup in the gutters.

No ice in gutters equals no icicles.

Q)Please settle a debate. Should the home thermostat be set lower or higher when we go to bed? One side says lower because you are sleeping under covers. The other says higher because you are not moving around and generating your own heat.

A.When I can settle this same debate in my very own home I will let you know.

Truth is that it is a personal preference. Some, like me, like it to be cooler at night since I am under covers anyway and it is a chance to save the energy.

However, my husband cannot stand to be chilly for even a moment at night so he prefers to leave it higher at night, also saying that the temperature is colder outside at night. What ever makes you comfortable is the route to go, and if you live in my house it just depends who goes to bed last.

Q)I have two 2-lamp 8 ft. fluorescent fixtures which are mounted in unheated attic room located over garage. Fixtures come on only sporadically- even when temp is 80 deg. and above. Have tried replacing both lamps and ballasts without success. Any hints or advice you can offer for resolving this problem will be appreciated. Thank you.

A.The only hint I can give is to have the electric lines checked and traced for shorts or loose wires. If new equipment is doing the same thing and the temperature has no effect either the only other place I would think there could be a problem would be in the wiring between the lights and the electrical box.

Have a question or tip about home repairs? Let us know at Repair@ClevelandSeniors.Com

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Beth Hodge
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