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WINTER

SURVIVAL GUIDE

2013-14


2

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE

Mechanics give advice for winterizing cars By Elika Roohi

LOCATION)

NEWS-MINER INTERN

“Make sure your cords are in good condition.”

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airbanks winters can be pretty hard on a person’s car or truck. Who would know that better than the mechanics who are called upon to fix them? So we decided to ask several of our local mechanics what they see as the most important thing to do or avoid when it comes to auto maintenance during the winter months. Here’s their wisdom about winter vehicle care for Interior Alaskans: “Having your vehicle properly winterized is the most important part. Most people think they can get by on just the block heater or the oil pan heater. It’s about getting the heaters to work together.” Anthony Frey GABE’S TRUCK AND AUTO REPAIR

“There’s two things. The most important is probably a block heater and oil pan heater. You can’t start it without a block heater.” Jack Osborn SUNSHINE RAE MOTORS

Mike Lecorchick AMERICAN TIRE & AUTO (DOWNTOWN LOCATION)

“The biggest thing is to make sure that the tires are changed, and make sure that the antifreeze is changed or at least registers minus 75 degrees.” Don Rutherford ALYESKA TIRE

A bicyclist walks past vehicles stopped at a red light across University Avenue at College Road through the ice fog. SAM HARREL/NEWS-MINER “The biggest mistake I see people make is adjusting their anti-freeze themselves. They’ll have their buddy or neighbor or something do it. They get it cold enough that it doesn’t freeze, but when you get the wind-chill going through the engine when you’re driving, it’ll freeze.” Jason Harbaugh PEGER ROAD AUTO REPAIR

“Get it inspected by mechanics that you trust. The heaters on your car are like light

Looking and paying for child care doesn't have to be scary!

bulbs. You know how light bulbs burn out over time? Heaters do that too.” Mike Simard

“A good tip is to use a trickle charger on your battery instead of an actual battery pad on the bottom of it. The reason why you wouldn’t wanna use a battery pad on the bottom is it creates corrosion, and it’s bad for your battery’s life.” Cody Whiteley

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“For military and other people coming up from the Lower 48, it’s really possible they’re going to have thick engine oil or other oil and they’re going to need to get it changed out to be Arctic grade.”

“Well, the first thing I would recommend is that you take your vehicle to your favorite mechanic and have it checked out.”

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 4, 2013

3

WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE

What’s your biggest winter vehicle mistake?

Rod Boyce MANAGING EDITOR FAIRBANKS DAILY NEWS-MINER

Waiting to get it winterized and had to thaw it out for 3 days. Dawn Jannelle Lundell

Last winter after a long cold snap, it warmed up to about -5 and I promptly went to the car wash to refresh my car.

Thinking nothing of it, I parked it outside when I got home. My car was clean, but I couldn’t get into it — it had completely frozen shut! Karen Wilken

In about 1978, we went to see a movie at the Goldstream Theaters at 50 below... driving our small Toyota truck. It took a spray can of ether to get our poor little pickup started after the movie. I will never forget that experience! Gale Ann Skaugstad

My father used to use a blowtorch. How silly those kids were in the ‘50s!! LOL Bobbi Smith

Drive slower over bumps. Remember that things break easier at cold temps. I destroyed my rear shocks a few years ago when I pulled into the driveway a little too fast. Robb Myers

Don’t turn your defrost on in -50F or below. I did. Cracked my entire windshield ;). Heather Fries

“Variety is the Spice of Life!” Variety Motors is locally owned and operated. We are located at 2216 S. Cushman. Your best car buying experience means that we are here to provide you with the best service possible in a pleasant and professional atmosphere to help you find the right vehicle at the right price. We offer a wide selection of vehicles in great condition at a reasonable price. Our customers come first and we will do our utmost to ensure that they receive the best possible service. We inspect and prepare our vehicles to meet our high standards for safety and drivability. We understand the needs of our customers and cater to them. Variety is the Spice of Life and we offer that here with brands such as; Audi, Acura, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, Honda and VW to name a few. Drop by and see us.

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My name is Susan Carey, and I have been in the business since 2001. I am dedicated to making your car buying experience easy and stress free. I have lived in the Fairbanks area since 1994 and Alaska is my home. I’ve had five children in the Military- two currently, and three left at home. I understand the needs of the military and I appreciate the loyalty of our local customers. I love my job and look forward, each day, to helping people find just what they are looking for and making it affordable to own. Please come down and visit with us and look around at your leisure. You’ll discover we are here to assist you, not pressure you. Come see me here at Variety Motors, “Your Best Car Buying Experience.” Susan Carey, Sales & Finance

-50 below, car doors were frozen, so my husband put his keys in his mouth so he could use both arms to pull on the door. Ripped the skin off his lips. My husband grew impatient with the defrosting of the windshield on the car so he poured hot water on it. Biig crack across it. You’d think he learned that is bad. Oh, no...truck windshield also has a big crack too!...lol I decided to wear ski goggles while cleaning off cars at -50 below. My eyelashes still iced up but froze to the inside of the goggles and I took them off before going inside. Riipped all of my eyelashes out with some skin from on top of my eyes. That was seven years ago and I can only get a couple lashes to grow back. lol.

Vehicles are seen draped in blankets in the parking lot of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s offices. NEWS-MINER FILE PHOTO LOL all this is way too funny.. not sinking in the car seat.... flat on one side tires..... heater fuse blowing... the fun of winter in Fairbanks...... Mark Rosen

Make sure your cord has a lit end to verify power for your block heater. All else fails, put a parachute over the whole car and run a heater to unthaw your engine. Amber Miller

EdieLou Komonczi-Shenk

MISTAKES » 4

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WINTERIZATION CHECK Are you ready for winter? Call us today for a check up. We will do an oil change, check fluids, and inspect the winterization on your vehicle for only

$6995 Winter tire change out (if on rims) Expires Dec.. 31, 2013. Offer does not include synthetic oil. Please call for pricing. Variety Motors 2216 S. Cushman 451-7651

Hi, I’m Charlie Leonelli. I have been a business owner of Variety Motors since 2004. I moved to Fairbanks in 1986. I love the Fairbanks community and all of the opportunity it has to offer. I’m a people person and I want to make sure I connect with you as a person to provide the best car buying experience. If you are looking for full service, and excellent customer service, come see us. Charile Leonelli, Sales & Finance

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inter is coming, and surely we tough Interior residents have never made a mistake when it comes to dealing with our vehicles through months of snow and ice and the occasional stretch of 40 below. Right? Uh-huh, sure. True or not, we’ve probably all heard about the person who tried to heat up a car’s engine by putting a tray of hot coals under it only to set the whole car afire. Thinking about that story got me wondering what mistakes our readers have made in caring for or operating their vehicles in the winter. So we went to our Facebook page and asked. Read, learn from and enjoy some of the responses below.


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Friday, October 4, 2013

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

MISTAKES Continued from 3

WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE to replace said license. Amber Miller

my car hood was covered with a blanket most of the winter. Like tucking it in at night. Barbara Murray

I’ve used coals numerous times. U just got to be careful.

Back in October 2011 when it was like 50 below or so, I plugged my truck in thinking nothing of it. The next morning come to find out the house outlets weren’t working. Went a couple days with out the truck. Then an entire day with a space heater, tarps and blanket to thaw it out. Dustan Reynolds

Kathy Fields

Charles Darby

In the extreme cold visually inspect your tires every time you get in the car. A tire that is just a little low can “square up” so badly that you’ll drag it off the rim. Over-inflate your tires just a little before the cold sets in.

Didn’t plug my car in one time and it wouldn’t start. I had two blow dryers and put them under the hood on high. Half hour later car started!

Going through a car wash in the dead of winter and freezing my car’s trunk shut, I had to pull it into my garage and blow extra heat on it to get my groceries out! MIKHAEL SAVENKO

Two Januarys ago the blower motor went out in my car. While it was on order we were forced to drive around town at -40F with the windows down while we scraped the frost away with our drivers’ licenses in order to see. Mikhael Savenko

Don’t turn your car off if you decide to go out to the bar and make a night out of it... Lots of people’s cars freeze up and not very many places have plug ins for patrons Heather Marie Showalter

Check all your belts for cracking and wear before the cold hits. Nothing like losing a fan belt in the middle of Airport Way and scraping your windshield with your driver’s license for lack of defrost. And then explain to DMV why you need

Amy Lanam

Drove my Jeep onto my friend’s yard to try and help jump her car and ended up getting the Jeep stuck instead, in -30 without any shovels around. D’oh. Katie Tasky

Oh, I remember my step-father thawing out our rotary engine Mazda with a one-burner Coleman stove. And shoveling snow up around the skirting of the trailer for an extra layer of insulation. Amy Lanam

We did the coal thing, and thank goodness nothing caught on fire. Made sure

Watch out for male stray dogs, they lift their leg on a tire and it will instantly flatten in those temps, that warm liquid will break the seal every time, it has happened to me a couple of times. Grrrrrr.... :-)

Ginger M Dixon

When our cars froze up my dad taught us kids to use a tarp and a space heater to thaw it :) Jeannie Moore

Bought a dry cell battery... goes dead at 50 degrees. My Fort Yukon friends call them one-day batteries. Should have stuck with the regular old battery. Granny Robbi Douglass

Use to do the coal trick, until the oil change business I use told me about how putting synthetic oil in your vehicle makes for an easier start.

Had no heat in my car and low cash just out of high school. It was the winter of ’89-90, when we got so frikkin cold. Ice had accumulated on the inside of my front window, so I did the only thing I could think of: bought a roll of doublesided tape, 4 cans of Sterno, taped those suckers down across the dash, lit ’em up! They created nice portholes for me to see out of, and to avoid inhaling the noxiousness of the sterno, threw on a parka and rolled the windows down a little. Got me through the winter! Steve Sierer

We did the weed burner and stovepipe trick a few times back when we were living without electricity. The car survived, but we decided we wanted electricity. Also, I swapped out a starter motor on an ’84 Toyota pickup at 50 below. My wife heard more profanity come out of my mouth in that one hour than she has in the rest of the 20 years we have been a couple. Four months later I started building a garage. This was not a coincidence. David James

Who hasn’t left their car or truck plugged in and pulled out of the driveway? I have done that more times than I want to say... Verda Renee Lord

Megan Attla-Lord

MISTAKES » 5


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 4, 2013

5

WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE

FAIRBANKS WINTER FACTS SNOWFALL • Average date of first measurable snowfall: Oct. 1 • Average date of last measurable snowfall: April 22 • Average date of establishment of winter snowpack (1 inch or more): Oct. 18 • Average date of loss of winter snowpack (1 inch or more): April 22 • Average snowfall: 65.0 inches • Average snowfall by month (last 30 years) September 1.8 inches October 10.8 inches November 13.2 inches December 12.1 inches January 10.3 inches February 8.1 inches March 4.9 inches April 2.9 inches May 0.9 inches • Average number of days

air pressure. The incorrect air pressure will wear out your tires more quickly.

MISTAKES Continued from 4

with measurable snowfall in Fairbanks: 56.9 TEMPERATURE • Average temperatures by month (last 30 years) Month High Low Mean September 54.6 35.1 44.9 October 31.9 16.5 24.2 November 10.9 -5.7 2.6 December 4.8 -12.9 -4.1 January 1.1 -16.9 -7.9 February 10.0 -12.7 -1.3 March 25.4 -2.5 11.4 April 44.5 20.6 32.5 May 61.0 37.8 49.4 • Average date of first low temperature of -20 or below: Nov. 19 • Average date of last low temperature of -20 or below: March 14 • Average number of days with a low temperature of -40 or lower: 11 Information as of 2010 is based on National Weather Service records dating back to 1930, with some earlier records included as noted.

Cathy DeHaven

I always seem to forget to turn my heat up before I leave the car so when I auto start it, it’s still cold when I get in :( Jan Duffett Parker

Plugged my car in overnight just to find out that that particular outlet didn’t work. Use a lighted cord thing. Michael Carter

Having to dig out. The snow had fallen so much in 1 night that you couldn’t tell my car was even in the driveway. Then thinking I could actually make it to town in my tiny car with that much snow on the ground. Tracey Bivins

Broke a couple car door handles because the door was froze. Dave Black

For those that are new to Alaska: When it gets 30 below or colder and your vehicle sits outside all night, the bottom side of your tires will most likely be flat. So when you first take off driving, go slow so the tires warm up and get round again. If not you may spin them right off their rims. Also you need to check the air in your tires occasionally, as the cold will make them lose

Car grills can crack after a few days of -50 below and are held on by ice. They subsequently thaw from a combination of engine heat and rising temps. Mine fell off and I proceeded to drive over it as I drove down the road. It happens, what can I say? Beth Bryant Gambrell

Found my car unplugged one morning because a moose had tripped over the cord during the night... Julie Marie Chesbrough

Put Vaseline around the rubber part of your doors so that they don’t stick so bad in a freeze. Marcella Harp

One of the “do not forgets” I share with new people. Do not get too close to the car in front of

you at stoplights or signs when it is cold to prevent that monoxide buzz and headache from pulling exhaust into your car. Elizabeth Rodes

When I lived there back in ‘97, I touched the steering wheel with no gloves at 50 below! Fingers didn’t feel too good. They got all red just from that! Stephen C. Rumer

My dad last year literally turned part of his fingers black from cranking on the key trying to start it. That part of his finger still has no feeling and that was only about 10 minutes of cranking on it with no gloves and -50. Happens very quick. Cindy Hathaway

Don’t jump in to the car thinking that seat is going to have the same bounce in it that it has in the summer. That thing is going to be as hard as concrete @ -40F below! Corrie Kossow Garrison

Locking my keys in my running car at the cemetery :(....I was making a Mary Kay delivery:) Heidi Sprague

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 4, 2013

WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE

Be prepared for winter driving Advice from Alaska State Troopers Reprinted in part from the archive of the Trooper Times, a publication of the Alaska State Troopers

W

hen the snow season comes to Alaska, it’s like driving in another world. Suddenly, your car is different. It will not start, steer or stop the way it does in warm weather. The roads often become treacherous when covered with snow. Slush is often as slippery as ice and both are a potential danger to motorists. Visibility is even affected by winter conditions. Daylight hours are short and the glare from the snow can blind you. In addition, windshields often ice or fog over. The biggest problems with winter driving are often the drivers themselves. Too often drivers are in a hurry. They either don’t worry about road conditions, or become tense and nervous when at the wheel.

ERIC ENGMAN/NEWS-MINER FILE PHOTO

Below are tips on how to prepare for winter and how to react to dangerous driving conditions.

Planning & preparation Since all winter driving problems cannot be anticipated, the best rule is to plan for

potential situations and be prepared. Don’t wait until the cold weather arrives to do so. Prepare for winter beforehand by having your car tuned so it will run efficiently. This will reduce the chances of roadside breakdowns. The following systems should be checked by a skilled mechanic.

• The battery: Cold weather makes vehicles harder to start. Always keep the battery and terminals clean in order to insure good connections, and keep the battery fully charged. Be sure to check the battery’s fluid level as well as the voltage regulator. If there is a question regarding your battery’s integrity, get a new one. • The ignition system: Check the condition of ignition wires, and check the distributor cap for cracks. Faulty wires or a cracked cap can result in engine drown out when it snows, or when slush is thrown onto the car and into the engine compartment. It is also a good idea to have a tune-up done before cold weather sets in. A tuneup should reveal ignition problems, if they exist. • The heating and cooling systems: Have the antifreeze in the radiator checked. If there is a leak in the radiator or hoses, have them repaired or replaced before you add antifreeze. Test the heater and defroster to make sure they are functioning properly. If they are not putting out enough heat, have the thermostat and heater checked. Also, check the intake vents for any debris DRIVING » 7

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Friday, October 4, 2013

DRIVING Continued from 6 or other matter that can cause blockage. • The exhaust system: Be sure to have the entire exhaust system checked for leaks. Replace components as necessary. Carbon monoxide is a killer and even a small leak in the system could pave the way to disaster. Never warm up your car in a closed garage. Even if the exhaust system is in good working order, it’s a good idea to drive with at least one window partially open. • The windshield wipers and washers: Check the functioning of wipers and blades. Replace blades that streak the windshield. Keep the windshield washer reservoir filled with a washer antifreeze solution. • The tires: Regular tires should have a good tread for the bite needed when traveling on snow and ice. If you use snow tires, put them on with the first snowfall warning. You get the best traction with studded snow tires, but these tires may only be used during times designated by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE

Protecting your skin from the ravages of winter

• Tire chains: If you prefer to use chains, inspect your chains to make sure they are serviceable. Check the condition of the cross chains. Replace broken links or links that are almost worn through.

Cold weather equipment

This story first appeared in the News-Miner in December 2012.

Don’t wait until it freezes or snows to load your car with the equipment necessary to combat the elements. Put the following supplies in your glove box or trunk: • Flashlight • Brush or broom for snow removal • Extra fuses for vehicle systems • A rag for cleaning headlights or the windshield if you should run out of washer fluid • Chains for your tires • Extra washer fluid • Work gloves • A small snow shovel • A small bag of sand or salt • A blanket and extra heavy clothing for emergencies (to include snow boots) • Booster cables • Non-perishable food for emergencies

TEXT OR DRIVE PICK ONE

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By Tim Mowry TMOWRY@NEWSMINER.COM

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fter 25 years of working as a dermatologist in Fairbanks, Dr. Kathie AndersonStirling can sum up the cure for dry skin in one word: Grease. Dry skin is a fact of life in the arctic desert that is Fairbanks in the winter. The cold, dry environment sucks all the moisture out of the air, not to mention peoples’ skin. The best way to prevent dry skin is to dress it in layers, as in layers of moisturizer. “What we need here is grease,” Anderson-Stirling said. What she means by that is using a creambased moisturizer as opposed to a lotion-based moisturizer to treat dry skin. “If you can pour it out of a bottle or pump it, forget it,” Anderson-Stirling said. “It’s got to be in a jar that you can scoop out with your hand.” Alcohol is added to moisturizer to make it more liquid, which makes it more cosmetically friendly, she said, but alcohol also dries out the

skin. The whole point of using a moisturizer is to seal moisture into the skin, not suck it out, dermatologists said. Dry skin is the No. 1 problem dermatologists in Fairbanks deal with. The main symptoms of dry skin are itching, burning, cracking and chapping. “Your skin begins to look like the bottom of a dry lake bed,” is how Anderson-Stirling put it. The best way to prevent dry skin is to use a good moisturizer on a daily basis. “If you have a lot of trouble with dry skin you can’t overuse moisturizer,” Dr. Roger Thurmond, another dermatologist in Fairbanks, said. “You can use it once a day or 10 times a day.” One thing that compounds dry skin problems is over bathing, Thurmond said. “That’s a common thing people do,” he said. “They take a long, hot, soapy shower every day, and it’s hard on the skin.” Thurmond recommends cutting back on the number of showers or baths you take in winter and is a proponent of quick, lukewarm showers. “Wash the stinky spots and get out of there,” he said. SKIN » 8

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 4, 2013

WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE

Protect your home from problems with stack effect The “Ask a Builder” series is dedicated to answering some of the many questions Fairbanks residents have about building, energy and the many other parts of home life. This column first appeared in the News-Miner on Sept. 19, 2013. By CCHRC staff

Q: I’ve heard stack effect can cause problems with indoor air quality. How does it work? A: Stack effect (also called chimney effect) involves airflow into and out of a building caused by indoor and outdoor air temperature differences. Everything starts with the fact that warm air rises and cold air sinks. In winter, your house acts much like a bubble of warm, buoyant air sitting on the bottom of a sea of cold, dense air. This creates a pressure difference, one of the key factors you need in order to have air flow. The actual distribution of pressures inside the house can vary, but generally the pressure is positive toward the top floors and ceiling (meaning air wants to escape outside) and negative towards the bottom floor (meaning

air wants to come in). To complicate matters, a taller structure such as a multistory house will contain a taller column of air that will produce greater pressure differences. The other key factor allowing for airflow is a pathway for the air to move between the regions of differing pressures, which in your house means leaks in your building envelope. Things are fine if you have no air leaks, but even the tightest homes have some air leaks. As warm indoor air leaks through the walls or roof, it cools and deposits moisture along the way. The problems don’t necessarily stop there, however. New air to replace the air lost must come from somewhere. Replacement air will tend to take the path of least resistance. Typically air is drawn in through the lowest regions (the negative pressure zone) of the house, which is why problems with soils gases, such as radon, tend to increase in winter. Replacement air isn’t always just drawn in through the lower parts of the structure. Air also can infiltrate through poorly sealed or malfunctioning combustion appliances such as wood STACK » 10

METRO CREATIVE PHOTO

SKIN Continued from 7 Thurmond goes as far as telling people to avoid using washcloths because the friction of the washcloth against the skin can cause eczema. The same thing goes for washing hands, Thurmond said. People are told to wash their hands frequently to avoid getting sick but that can cause chapping and cracking fingertips, he said. He advises not to use hot water when washing hands, washing them palm side up only and using moisturizer afterward. While she doesn’t usually tell people to reduce the frequency of their bathing, Anderson-Stirling does recommend using moisturizer anytime you get out of a shower, bath, swimming pool, hot tub or sauna. Pools and hot

tubs are especially bad because they are chlorinated. “Hot tubs and swimming pools are hard on skin,” Thurmond said. “They cause a lot of drying and irritation.” It’s a good idea to use a soap that has moisturizer in it when bathing or washing hands, Anderson-Stirling said. Some good moisturizing soaps include Neutrogena, Tone, Caress and Dove, she said. “The worst soap in the world is Ivory,” she said. “It has a pH of 11 and the only commercial soap available with a pH that high is Drano.” She also advised against using deodorant soaps like Irish Spring, Zest or Dial. “They’re really tough on skin,” Anderson-Stirling said. Keeping skin covered in cold weather also helps prevent it from drying out, which is why people should wear facemasks

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and scarves, Anderson-Stirling said. “You’d think that was pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people are totally oblivious to that,” she said. Getting more oil in your diet is another way to help avoid dry skin, Anderson-Stirling said. “Flax seed oil. Fish oil. Oil of primrose,” she said, rattling off a few. “Eat a lot of salmon.” For people who either don’t have, or don’t want to spend, a lot of money on fancy, sweetsmelling moisturizers, Anderson-Stirling said there’s a cheap alternative. “Crisco out of the can,” she said. “It’s simple, it’s vegetable oil and it’s greasy enough to do the trick. “If you don’t care if your kids smell like cookie dough it’s great,��� Anderson-Stirling said. Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587.

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 4, 2013

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Guard against winter injuries, accidents This column first appeared in the News-Miner in December 2012. By Roxie Rodgers Dinstel COOPERATIVE EXTENSION

I

t happens every year here in Alaska. The snow falls and we are left with piles of the stuff to move. It is beautiful, but treacherous — in more ways than one. Sidewalks are unsafe if not cleared, but the shoveling can be a danger to you. Think in terms of unaccustomed physical labor and back problems. People don't think that when you start shoveling snow, it is like picking up heavy weights in the cold, on a slippery surface, and dressed in heavy clothing. This is a prescription for injury. First, let's look on the bright side. The good news is that snow shoveling for at least 15 minutes counts as moderate physical activity. According to the surgeon general, we all should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. A 170-pound person shoveling for 30 minutes will burn about 250 calories. Not a bad investment on the calories-burned scale. The bad news is that researchers have reported an increase in the number of heart attacks among snow shovelers after heavy snowfalls. The rise may be due to the sudden demand that shoveling places on an individual's heart. Since snow shoveling is a demanding task, it causes the heart to pump faster. In cold weather, blood vessels contract, which can cause a heart attack since the blood is trying to pump harder to get blood to the extremities. After only two minutes of

STACK Continued from 8 stoves and boilers, or plumbing traps that have dried out and are therefore no longer able to provide an air seal to the septic system.

A resident shovels his parking area in the alley between C and D streets as snow continues. ERIC ENGMAN/NEWS-MINER FILE PHOTO

shoveling, heart rates for sedentary men go to levels higher than those recommended for aerobic exercise. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or other symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 immediately. Far more common are shoveling-related injuries like pulled muscles and strained backs. These can be avoided by using the right equipment and proper snow shoveling methods. The weather can make shoveling more difficult. Cold air makes working and breathing hard. You are also at risk of hypothermia if you aren't properly dressed for the weather. So do you throw in the shovel (towel)? Not necessarily. Snow shoveling can be good exercise when performed correctly and with safety in mind. Think heart-healthy and back-friendly when shoveling.

Shovel as soon as the snow starts to accumulate. Shoveling snow is much easier if you keep up with it. Rather than shoveling away at two feet of snow, shovel snow when an inch or more hits the ground and shovel more often rather than waiting until shoveling is a big chore. If you are inactive and have a history of heart trouble, talk to your doctor before you take on the task of shoveling snow. Warm up just as you would for exercise. Loosen your muscles by marching in place or stretching before tackling the sidewalk. Warm muscles will work more efficiently and are less likely to be injured. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is just as big an issue in cold winter months as it is in the summer. Avoid caffeine or nicotine before beginning. These are stimulants, which may increase

your heart rate and cause your blood vessels to constrict, placing extra stress on the heart. Dress in several layers and remove layers as needed. Be sure to remove clothing as you heat up while shoveling. Sweat can turn clammy on your skin and cause problems. Your skin should remain warm (not hot) and dry. Pick the right shovel for you. It should be constructed for snow removal, with a no-stick surface and of lightweight construction. Choose a plastic shovel rather than metal because it is lighter to lift. A non-stick surface can be produced at home. Simply coat the blade of the snow shovel with vegetable oil. This will also help to make shoveling less tiring. A smaller blade will require you to lift less snow, putting less strain on your body. Consider buying a bent-handle shovel

The key to reducing potential problems with stack effect is good air sealing around penetrations in the building. If you are considering sealing air leaks in your house, it's very important that you start at the top. If you start at the bottom, then you might be increasing the

chances that air leaking out of the top will pull air from other sources such as combustion appliances. Some common air leakage points in the positive pressure zone of the house (if not properly air sealed) can include: can lights, chimneys, plumbing

vents, wiring penetrations, bath fans and range vents. Always be sure that you have a functioning carbon monoxide detector in your home and that your boiler and wood stove have a dedicated source of combustion air. For more on how stack effect

that's designed to prevent too much stooping. Space your hands several inches apart on the tool grip to increase your leverage. Begin shoveling slowly to avoid placing a sudden demand on your heart. Pace yourself and take breaks as needed. Shovel the worst part first. Shovel the deepest spot at the end of the driveway where the snow plow dumps the snow first. This area will need to be done without a doubt. You may find it unnecessary to shovel areas that are not as deep. If the goal is to get your vehicle out of the driveway, do that first before shoveling extra space around the cars. Protect your back from injury by lifting correctly. Stand with your feet about hip width for balance and keep the shovel close to your body. Bend from the knees (not the back) and tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow. Push the snow when possible — don't lift it. Don't throw it over your shoulder or to the side since this twisting motion can stress your back. If you need to move the snow to one side, reposition your feet to face the direction the snow will be going. For very light snow removal, a broom can work. Most importantly — listen to your body. Stop if you feel pain! Keep your heart and your back healthy as you tackle shoveling this winter. Roxie Rodgers Dinstel is a professor of extension on the Tanana District Extension faculty. Questions or column requests can be emailed to her at rrdinstel@alaska.edu or by calling 907-474-2426. The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

works, check out this CCHRC video: www.youtube.com/watch ?v=54XRm25Ykqc&feature=sha re&list=PL67021C206D70C449 Ask a Builder articles promote home awareness for the Cold Climate Housing Research Center. If you have a question, contact us at info@cchrc. org or at 457-3454.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

For Your Up To Date Weather Alerts!

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Sledders take advantage of record-breaking warm temperatures to ascend and descend the Beluga Field sledding hill on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus on a sunny afternoon in 2011. JOHN WAGNER/NEWS-MINER

A cow moose peers from the tree line while feeding with her calf along Geist Road in 2011. ERIC ENGMAN/NEWS-MINER

Caleb Whitworth, right, checks his line while ice fishing with Johann Freeman in 2010 on Ballaine Lake. Freeman had already given up as Whitworth continued until he finally decided the next outing would be at Birch or Chena lakes. SAM HARREL/NEWS-MINER

Short, light, aluminum running snowshoes are used by many competitors during the Solstice Snowshoe Shuffle, a one-mile snowshoe race in Griffin Park. ERIC ENGMAN/NEWS-MINER


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Friday, October 4, 2013

13

Zane Kohrt, 14, pushes snow from in front of his home at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Cowles Street during a winter storm in 2009. The National Weather Service recorded 8.4 inches of snow that night. NEWS-MINER

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Paid Advertising Content

NOKIAN TIRES AVAILABLE IN FAIRBANKS AT METROPOLITAN GARAGE 455-7450 Located on the banks of the Nokia River, Nokian Tyres has been producing tires for a Nordic climate since 1904. In 1936 they produced the world’s first snow tire, the Hakkapeliitta, and made coldweather climate history. Since then, Nokian has remained the worldwide leader in winter driving safety. Nokian’s philosophy: Tires are the only things connecting you to the ground. And, as Interior Alaska knows, this close to the Arctic Circle there often is no ground. Tires are the only thing connecting you to ice and snow.

their studded line of tread, Nokian responded by developing a lightweight carbide-titanium stud that lasts and grips, as well as satisfies DOT demands.

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Nokian has done one thing for over 70 years: Manufacture tires for people who live near the Arctic Circle. They have never branched out to find other markets. They are at home, much like Interior Alaska, in

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Winter survival guide2013