Winter Driving Tips

Winter Driving.jpg

Before the season make sure your vehicle is ready for the weather to come. Either bring your car to get serviced or have a mechanic do a once over on it. Due to the cold weather your tires loose 1 psi for every 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) the temperature drops.

What is black ice/glare ice? It’s a thin coating of ice (from freezing mist) on a road or sidewalk; nearly invisible but very hazardous.

What to look for: Shaded areas, bridges, overpasses, and roads less traveled – they are the most at-risk areas for black/glare ice.

DO NOT hit your brakes or make any harsh turns if you find yourself on ice. Keep your momentum but gradually take your foot off the accelerator and find a safe location. The shoulder may seem like a safe spot, but take into consideration other drivers and their possible reactions. Maybe aim a little further down the road/highway if you can without endangering others.

Be prepared. Have a kit packed with winter breakdown essentials. Blankets, ice scraper, flashlight (and batteries), shovel, kitty litter, flares, high energy snacks, and a towel. Better to not need it and have it; than need it and not have it.

Know your vehicle. After the first snow of the season, head to an empty parking lot and test your car. Go slow, speed up, break quickly - see how everything reacts and how the timing is different. You never want to be learning these things for the first time in a dangerous situation.

Antifreeze is your best friend. This keeps your system safe from rust, freezing, and overheating. Regardless of how cold it is outside the engine still needs the internal cooling system to run smoothly.

Stop tailgating. In snowy conditions, you should try to drive 8-10 seconds behind the person in front of you. You shouldn’t be concerned with how fast you get somewhere; you should just be concerned with getting there. Keeping this distance increases the amount time you have to react should something go wrong.

Drive slow! Leave early enough where you have the time to go slower than usual. If possible, don’t go out if you don’t need to; watch the weather and go to the store before it rains or snows.

Hurricane Safety Tips

Don't wait until the last minute! Even if there is only a 30% chance, better safe than sorry every time.

If you take a daily medication, make sure you have enough for at least 10 days after the storm. The roadways may be inaccessible for a while.

Keep all your important documents in a fire/waterproof safe. If you don't have one, use ziplock bags and store them somewhere secure.  

Always be sure to have a stocked first aid kit and know how to get to it in the dark.

Stock up on water, nonperishable foods, candles, flashlights, and batteries. 

Try to get your laundry done; nothing like having dirty clothes that you can't clean for a week.

Fill your car's gas tank and if you have a grill be sure to have extra propane.

Create and go over a hurricane evacuation plan with your family so everyone is on the same page if/when the times comes. 

Take the proper precautions for you and your family's safety! Whether it's boarding up the windows with hurricane shutters/plywood, or a mandatory evacuation, listen to your local news stations and use your best judgment.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those in Hurricane Matthew's path. 
Be safe everyone! 

The Slomin's Team

14 Ways to keep your home cool this summer!

1. Use a programmable thermostat
                - These are easy-to-use and essential for year-round energy savings. Tip: gradually lower the air temperature to keep your unit from working overtime when it doesn't need to; this will also prevent your fan from freezing.

2.  Keep your thermostat away from heat (non-programmable)
- Try not to place lamps, TVs, or other heat-producing appliances near your thermostat. This will make the thermostat run longer than it actually needs to.

3. Keep your A/C unit in the shade
- Your machine will have an easier time cooling if the air around it is cool as well. This also helps your machine to run more efficiently. Be sure to keep plants and shrubs about 2 to 4 feet away to ensure proper air flow to/from the unit.

4. Weatherize your home
Seal all air conditioning ducts and insulate ducts that run through unheated basements, crawl spaces, and attics. This keeps the cool air exactly where it’s supposed to be, inside!

5. Ceiling Fans
If your home has ceiling fans, program them to run counterclockwise in the summer to push the air down. (If the upward angled side is rotating ahead, it will push air down. If the downward angled side is rotating ahead, it’s will lift the air up.)

6. Change your filters monthly
Dirty filters kill you’re A/Cs efficiency. Replace or clean (if you’ve got the washable type) them every month. Check out your filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value – the higher the number, the better the filtration; and the more energy it needs to pull air through.

7. Avoid heating appliances
- Try to avoid using the oven, stove, dishwasher, or clothes dryer during the heat of the day. The heat produced by these appliances can dramatically increase the temperature in an area of your house.

8. Vents, vents, vents!
Close vents in rooms that are not being used. Install vent deflectors if the air is not cooling the areas you’d like. Also, vacuum the vents as needed to keep the air flowing efficiently.

9. Change your furnace filters monthly (or switch to "Summer Mode")
Many people forget about their furnace during the summer. If you’ve got central air and a ducted home, your furnace fan plays an essential part in blowing cool air through your house. Without proper maintenance, the cold air can freeze your furnace fan and increase your monthly payments.

10. Keep blinds and curtains closed
We all love the natural light during the summer, but keeping your blinds open during hours of direct sunlight can have a negative impact on your A/C bill. Closing the blinds and curtains will keep your home from becoming a mini-greenhouse and can save you up to 7% on your bill.

11. Change the sheets
It’s nice to freshen up a room with some new sheets, but it’s also a great way to keep cool. Flannels and fleece blankets are good for insulation in the winter, but are not ideal when summer time comes around. Cotton, on the other hand, is light and breathable – perfect for the warmer months.

12. Check your duct work
If the ducts aren’t matching up correctly, or if one has a leak, you could end up cooling the inside of your walls instead of the inside of your rooms. We recommend having a professional inspect your duct work every 3-5 years.

13. Focus on you!
How did our ancestors survive without air conditioning?! Regulating your internal temperature is just as effective as keeping the air on. Sip on some refreshing icy drinks and select cooler clothing options.

14. Upgrade
If you have an older central air conditioner, consider replacing the outdoor compressor with a modern, high-efficiency unit. Just make sure that it is properly matched to the indoor unit.



How to Heat a Dog House During Winter

Now that autumn’s crisp days and chilly nights have begun in earnest, homeowners all over the country are turning up their thermostats at night and lighting fires in their wood stoves and fireplaces. Soon, winter days and nights will require bundling up before going outdoors and sipping hot beverages once you come in from the cold. It may even cross your mind that your canine companion is lucky to have a built-in fur coat to keep it warm when winter temperatures plunge.

How to Heat a Dog House During Winter

However, your furry friend may suffer from the cold weather more than you think, particularly if it is a senior dog, a breed that is sensitive to the cold, or a mother with pups that are still nursing. However, all dogs can do with a bit of protection from the elements, and proper pet house heating will help keep yours happy and healthy during the course of the winter.

Dog House Basics
Your dog house should be large enough so that the dog can easily sit, stand, turn around, and lie down, but not so big that it can’t hold your dog’s body heat inside. It should be off the ground with a sturdy roof that doesn’t leak and a well-insulated floor. Insulating materials include straw, wood shavings, or a small mattress lined in plastic for easy cleanup. The structure should be solidly built with no exterior cracks or holes that cold air could seep through and should also be built with pet safety in mind, with no sharp edges, splinters, or loose nails.

However, your dog may require more than what’s listed above if you live in a region where temperatures dip below freezing on a regular basis.

How to Heat a Dog House During Winter

Dog House Heating Elements
You can take pet house heating to the next level with certain heating elements designed for use in dog houses, including:

Heating pads. These reinforced rubber pads are the easiest way to add an extra layer of heat to your furry friend’s abode, but make sure you get the type that’s made for use in kennels.
Small furnaces. These are simply heat-producing light bulbs encased in metal.
Electric heaters. These units fit easily into small spaces, but be sure that the cord is situated so that it doesn’t pose a pet safety risk for dogs that like to chew.
The heating element you select will depend on several factors, including the size of the dog house, the individual needs of your pet, and climate conditions specific to your location.

Hurricane Safety Tips

Hurricane season is right around the corner and it is never too early to prepare with hurricane safety tips. Proper preparation before the storm is essential. Here are some valuable Hurricane Season Safety Tips:

Hurricane Safety Tip #1 – Maintain a Hurricane Kit
Essential items include a first aid kit, flashlights and batteries, rain gear, fuel for your vehicle, a multi-tool, and a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food and fresh water for each member of your family, including pets. Keep a battery-powered radio to get updates on the storm and to listen for the all-clear.

Hurricane Safety Tip #2 – Have a plan
Familiarize yourself with the locations of local shelters, and know the quickest way out of the area. When a hurricane warning has been issued, ready your hurricane kit and listen for updates. Make sure to secure loose objects outside. It may be necessary to board up your windows; always maintain a supply of wood and tools for this purpose. If an evacuation order is issued for your area, leave immediately.

Hurricane Safety Tip #3 – Remain in a secure location
If you are staying with your home during a hurricane, remain indoors in a secure room, away from any windows. Do not use candles. Unplug any electric appliances until you’re sure the storm has passed.

Hurricane Safety Tip #4 – Be patient
The eye of the hurricane may be calm, but the storm will resume as soon as it passes. Stay inside until you’re certain the hurricane is over. Once it’s over, use supplies from your hurricane kit until you can be sure outside food and water isn’t contaminated.

Hurricane Safety Tip #5 – After the Storm
Remain where you are until the storm has passed. If you must leave your home, avoid flooded roads and bridges. Report and avoid damaged power lines. Don’t use your phone unless it is an emergency.

For other references to Hurricane Safety Tips, visit:

Consider Installing a Home Security System
It may not be an obvious thought but having a home security system active while hurricane warnings have been indicated in your area, can notify you of an increasing threat. An early sign of a damage to your home is flooding. Slomin’s home security system setup, includes water sensors and 24/7 central monitored alarm system that will notify you immediately of flooding in your home.

Home Security Tips for Summer Traveling

Summer is the perfect time for relaxing and letting go of worries, but taking a casual approach to your home’s security could make your house a target for a burglar. Even something as simple as leaving a window unlocked for a night could lead to disaster.


Following a few basic home security tips can give you piece of mind so that you can enjoy your summer.

Remember to Lock Doors
When you’ve got neighborhood friends coming over for summer parties every other night, it’s easy to forget to close and lock your doors. Make a habit of checking your home’s entry points each night before you go to bed.

Check Your Windows
Opening a window is a good way to cool your house, but it does make it easier for an intruder to get in. Take care when leaving a window open during the night; you can stop an intruder from fully opening a window by placing a pipe in the window track.

Home Security Tips for Summer TravelingDon’t Make Your Vacation Obvious
If you take a long summer trip, your absence may be obvious to potential burglars. Make your home appear occupied by employing a few home security tips, including setting timers for your lights and arranging for someone to collect your mail and newspaper.

Clear Away Hiding Spots
Overgrown shrubs near windows make good hiding spots for burglars attempting to get into your home. Take advantage of the pleasant summer weather to trim the hedges around your yard.

Give a Key to a Neighbor
Having a spare key on your property seems like a good idea, especially if you’re expecting a house guest to arrive while you’re out. Hiding a key under a rock, however, is a risky idea that may give an intruder an easy way inside. Instead, give your spare key to a trusted neighbor.

Make sure you have a Home Security System Setup
Having a home security system active while away for the summer brings peace of mind and remote capabilities to monitor your home while enjoying a swim.