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Winter Seasonal Tips

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Winter
Spring
Summer

Facts on Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Winter Tips for Your Houseplants
Caring for houseplants while you're away on vacation
Keeping Your Winter Plants Safe
Protecting Your Floors from Ice Melt Compounds
Winterizing Your Window Air Conditioners
Improving Energy Efficiency in Your Home - Part One
Winterizing Your House -- Is it Too Tightly Shut Up?
Allergies Bothering You in Closed Winter House? Get Tips
Safely Thawing Frozen Pipes
Space Heater Safety
Planting Seeds Under Lights
Avoiding Falls
Does Your Family Have a Fire Plan?
Don't Forget Your Feathered Friends This Winter

Facts on Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

What is carbon monoxide (CO) and why do I need to understand it? The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that approximately 200 people per year are killed by accidental CO poisoning, with an additional 5000 people injured - more accidental poisonings than any other chemical substance. During winter, when our houses are closed up to keep warm and appliances such as heaters and furnaces are operating, the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning increases dramatically. Known as the "Silent Killer", carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless, colorless toxic gas that is a by-product of combustion and is virtually impossible to detect. Any fuel-burning appliance or device can produce dangerous levels of this gas and must be maintained properly to avoid the build-up of this poison in your home.

What can cause carbon monoxide poisoning in the home?

  • Fuel-fired furnaces (check for cracked furnace exchange)
  • Gas water heaters (check for corroded or disconnected water heater flue)
  • Fireplaces and wood stoves (check for dirty or clogged chimneys)
  • Gas stoves (check for proper installation)
  • Gas dryers (use outside ventilation)
  • Any gas or kerosene appliance such as portable heaters
  • Charcoal grills (don't operate inside or in an enclosed area such as garage)
  • Gas engines such as lawnmowers, blowers and other yard equipment
  • Automobile exhaust (especially dangerous in an attached garage)
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Anywhere combustion takes place

What are the medical effects of carbon monoxide and how do I recognize them?

Carbon monoxide, when inhaled, deprives your body of the oxygen it needs to survive. It does this by combining with the hemoglobin in your blood. Normally oxygen is transported by hemoglobin, but when carbon monoxide is present, it combines with the hemoglobin to form carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) instead of oxygen. This bond with carbon monoxide is 200 times stronger than the bond with oxygen, so it is difficult for your body to eliminate the CO buildup from your bloodstream. That is why carbon monoxide can cause poisoning slowly over a period of several hours, even in low concentrations.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

The symptoms of CO poisoning are commonly mistaken for other illnesses such as the flu or a cold. Concentration levels of CO in your bloodstream can cause:

  • 10% concentration - no apparent symptoms (heavy smokers can have as much as 9% COHb)
  • 15% concentration - mild headache
  • 25% concentration - nausea, serious headache (quick recovery after treatment with oxygen or fresh air)
  • 30% concentration - intensified headaches, nausea, dizziness, increased pulse and respiration (potential for long-term effects, especially in infants, children, the elderly, victims of heart disease and pregnant women)
  • 45% concentration - unconsciousness, possible collapse, convulsions, coma and eventually death.
  • 50%+ concentration - death

CAUTION: Carbon monoxide especially affects unborn babies, infants, people with anemia or a history of heart or respiratory disease and pregnant women.

How can I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in my home?

Take these simple steps:

  • Make sure your fuel-burning appliances - oil and gas furnaces, gas water heaters, gas ranges and ovens, gas dryers, gas or kerosene space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves - are installed and working according to manufacturers' instructions and local building codes.
  • Have all of your fuel-burning appliances inspected and cleaned by a professional at the beginning of every heating season.
  • Make certain that flues and chimneys are connected, unclogged and in good working condition.
  • Have only a qualified technician install or convert fuel-burning equipment from one type to another.
  • Never use ovens and gas ranges to heat your home.
  • Never use a charcoal grill inside a home, cabin, recreational vehicle or camper - even in a fireplace.
  • Never leave your car idling or a mower or blower running in a closed garage. Fumes can build up very quickly in the garage and living area of your home.
  • Make sure your furnace has an adequate intake of outside air.
  • Choose appliances that vent fumes to the outside whenever possible. If you cannot avoid using an unvented gas or kerosene space heater, follow the cautions that come with the device carefully.
  • Use the proper fuel and keep doors to the rest of the house open when using gas or kerosene space heaters. Crack a window to ensure enough air for ventilation and proper burning of fuel. Never sleep in an enclosed space with gas or kerosene space heaters.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors with an audible alarm in your home and garage.

DON'T IGNORE SYMPTOMS, particularly if more than one person is feeling them. You could lose consciousness and die if you do nothing. Play it safe. If you DO experience symptoms that you think could be from CO poisoning:

  • Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off fuel-burning appliances and leave the house.
  • Go to an emergency room and tell the physician you suspect CO poisoning.
  • Be prepared to answer the following questions for the physician:
    • Do your symptoms occur only in the house?
    • Do they disappear or decrease when you leave home and reappear when you return?
    • Is anyone else in your household complaining of similar symptoms?
    • Did everyone's symptoms appear about the same time?
    • Are you using any fuel-burning appliances in the home?
    • Has anyone inspected your appliances lately? Are you certain they are working properly?

Carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors can be used to help alert you of the presence of CO, but should not be used as a replacement for proper use and maintenance of your fuel-burning appliances. There are several types of detectors on the market. As the technology for these detectors is still developing, they are not considered as reliable as the smoke detectors you use in your home. Follow these guidelines when considering a carbon monoxide detector for your home:

  • Never purchase a CO detector that is not UL (Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.) approved or does not have a long-term warranty.
  • Many CO detectors tested performed well. Others failed to alarm at even high levels of CO and others alarmed at levels too low to be concerned about. Do not use a CO detector in place of proper maintenance and ventilation.
  • Research features before buying.
  • Make sure the detector you purchase is easily self-tested and reset to ensure proper functioning.
  • Don't select a detector based solely on cost.
  • Make sure you have enough detectors to cover your entire house.
  • Carefully follow manufacturers' instructions for placement, use and maintenance.
  • For maximum effectiveness during sleeping hours, place detectors as close to sleeping areas as possible.

If you have a CO detector and the alarm goes off:

  • Make sure it is your CO detector and not your smoke detector.
  • Check to see if any member of the household is experiencing symptoms of poisoning.
  • If they are, get them out of the house immediately and seek medical attention. Tell the doctor that you suspect CO poisoning.
  • If no one is feeling symptoms, ventilate the home with fresh air, turn off all potential sources of CO: your oil or gas furnace, gas water heater, gas range and oven, gas dryer, gas or kerosene space heater and any vehicle or small engine.
  • Have a qualified technician inspect your fuel-burning appliances and chimneys to make sure they are operating correctly and that there is nothing blocking the fumes from being vented out of the house.

For a complete list of links to detailed information on carbon monoxide poisoning go to: http://www.pp.okstate.edu/ehs/links/co.htm

Winter Tips for Your Houseplants:

  • Water houseplants less since they grow more slowly on short, dark days. Too much water will kill them.
  • Don't fertilize them unless they are growing under artificial lights.
  • Lining shelves or windowsills with aluminum foil reflects light and provides extra light for houseplants. Be sure there are no leaks that allow water to collect under the foil and damage sills.

Caring for houseplants while you're away on vacation

  • A week or so before your trip, turn the heat register off in a room with indirect light.
  • Monitor room temperature with a thermometer placed on the floor.
  • Check frequently to determine fluctuations of temperature. Ideally temperature should be between low-to-mid 50s during the day, falling into the upper 40s at night. At this range, your plants will survive without extra care for a few weeks.
  • Water all plants the day before you leave, whether they need it or not. Let pots drain fully.
  • Cover the floor of the room with newspapers and plastic and place all your plants together in the room.
  • Open curtains, drapes or blinds to allow optimum light to enter the room. Make sure plants aren't in drafts.
  • You can also use self-watering wicks available in most plant stores for watering.
  • If you don't have a room for the plants, try leaving them in the bathtub. After soaking them good, cover them with a sheet of plastic and they'll survive for 2 weeks or longer.
  • Shut off the heater vent in the bathroom so the room will remain cool and the heat won't dry the plants out.

Keeping Your Winter Plants Safe

Here are a few tips for keeping your outdoor plants safe during cold weather.

  • Don't worry about a light, freshly fallen snow. It's an excellent insulator if frigid weather follows.
  • Smaller, younger plants have a harder time surviving the cold than larger plants. Be sure and protect these during frigid weather.
  • If you have plants that have been attacked by insects or diseases, pay special attention to them during the winter.
  • De-icing salts can be toxic to many flowers, trees, shrubs and grasses. Be careful when de-icing the sidewalk and driveway not to get the substance too near plants or grasses.

Protecting your Floors from Ice Melt Compounds

No matter how hard you try, some of that ice melt compound that's on the bottom of your shoes is going to make it inside. The residue is unsightly on hard surface floors. On carpets, you may not see it, but the damage can be even worse. The most commonly used compound is calcium chloride in small white pellet form. It has two characteristics that are very relevant - it's alkaline and it loves water. Calcium chloride pulls moisture from the air and leaves a moist, oily film on carpets and hard surface floors. It can also cause the slip resistance of hard surface floors to be compromised.

  • Use doormats or runners at all entrance and exit areas to capture as much of the residue as possible.
  • Vacuum the mats often and clean using the wet extraction method.
  • Keep one or two replacement sets of mats for the winter season.
  • Clean carpets by vacuuming at least three times a day.
  • Clean carpets by wet extraction after each snowstorm or after each use of ice melt compound.
  • To clean the oily residue from hard surface floors, use water or FloorStar Light Duty Cleaner at 1/2 ounce per gallon. DO NOT wet mop, as the mop itself can become contaminated with significant amounts of residue and spread to the rest of your floors.
  • For professional cleaning, call 1-800 WE SERVE.

Winterizing your Window Air Conditioners

If you haven't winterized your window-unit air-conditioners, now's the time. Follow these simple steps:

  • If you leave the unit in the window, wrap it with plastic and seal it with duct tape.
  • You can buy covers for some models, if you prefer.
  • Remember to close all the vents.
  • If you take the appliance out of the window, be careful not to bend or damage the cooling fins on the back.
  • Do not store an air-conditioner on a garage floor where it might come in contact with corrosive deicing salts that can drip off car tires.

Improving Energy Efficiency in Your Home - Part One

Want to know a few ways to improve the energy efficiency in your home? Try these tips.

  • Install ceiling insulation.
  • Keep curtains closed to prevent heat loss.
  • Close off unheated areas.
  • Don't overheat your room; increasing the thermostat setting by 1 degree can increase costs by 3 percent.
  • Clean the heating filter regularly.
  • Wear warm enough clothing to help cut heating costs.
  • Choose energy-efficient appliances when making new purchases.
  • Turn off appliances when not in use.
  • Keep heaters free of dust and fluff around the fan and reflective surfaces.
  • Use compact, high-efficiency fluorescent lighting in areas where this is appropriate. It can save you up to 80 percent in costs.

We'll be providing energy efficiency tips throughout the year, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often.

Winterizing Your House — Is it Too Tightly Shut Up?

When Is a House Too Tight?

When your house is air-tight, that's good from an energy-use point of view. But if the house is too air-tight, it can cause indoor air quality problems. There are lots of different factors to consider when trying to determine if you have proper ventilation in your home. You should take into account your climate (humid or dry), the number of occupants in the house and the number of stories in the house. We've provided some simple tips here that will help you maintain good air quality in your home.

What Causes Indoor Air Problems?

Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.

Pollutant Sources

There are many sources of indoor air pollution in any home including:

  • Combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood and tobacco products
  • Building materials and furnishings such as deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet and cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products
  • Products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care or hobbies
  • Central heating and cooling systems and humidifying devices
  • Outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides and outdoor air pollution.

Amount of Ventilation

If too little outdoor air enters a home, pollutants can accumulate to levels that can pose health and comfort problems. Many modern homes are built to be "air-tight" for energy-saving purposes, and unless they are equipped with special mechanical means of ventilation, the best-built homes may have higher pollutant levels than older homes. However, even homes that are considered "leaky" can have a build-up of pollutants due to certain weather conditions that can drastically reduce the amount of air that enters a home.

How Does Outdoor Air Enter a House?

Outdoor air enters and leaves a house by infiltration, natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation.

  • Infiltration means that outdoor air comes into the house through openings around windows and doors, cracks and joints.
  • Natural ventilation occurs when air comes through open windows and doors.
  • Mechanical ventilation includes devices such as outdoor-vented fans that remove air from a single room, and systems that use fans and duct work to continuously remove indoor air and distribute filtered and conditioned outdoor air throughout the house.
  • Air exchange rate is the rate at which outdoor air replaces indoor air. When the air exchange rate is low, pollutant levels increase.

Health Effects of Indoor Air Pollutants

Health effects from indoor air pollutants may occur immediately after exposure or even years later.

  • Immediate effects include irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. These are usually short-term and treatable by removing the person from exposure to the pollutant.
  • Symptoms of long-term health problems such as asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and humidifier fever may also show up soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants.
  • Long-term health effects that may show up years after exposure include respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer.

If you have particularly sensitive people living in your househo/march5ld or people who are considered more "at-risk" such as the elderly, pregnant women, those with pre-existing medical conditions or small children, it is especially important to ensure that your home has proper ventilation, particularly during the winter months.

Identifying Air Quality Problems

If someone in your household is experiencing symptoms of indoor air pollution, you should try and identify the source of those symptoms. Have you recently moved to a new residence, remodeled or had the home treated with pesticides? Do you have any of the sources listed above in your home? Have you recently used a certain chemical in the home? Signs that your home may not be properly ventilated include:

  • Moisture condensation on windows or walls
  • Smelly or stuffy air
  • Dirty central heating and air cooling equipment
  • Books, shoes, or other items that become moldy

Precautions You Can Take

  • Have the radon level in your house measured by a professional.
  • Identify all possible sources of indoor pollution and eliminate as many sources as possible.
  • Have all combustion sources checked by a professional.
  • Limit smoking in your home.
  • Consult your healthcare professional if you or a family member experience symptoms. Offer as much information as possible to that professional so they can help identify the source of the symptoms.
  • Improve ventilation in your home by opening windows and doors, operating window or attic fans or making certain the vent control is open on window-unit air conditioners often enough to recycle the air in your home. Exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom also improve ventilation.
  • Pay special attention to ventilation when involved in projects such as painting, paint-stripping, heating with kerosene heaters, cooking or working on hobbies that involve welding, soldering or sanding. Try to schedule hobby activities during a season when you can do some of the work outdoors.
  • Consider the purchase of an air-cleaning device for your home.

Weatherizing Your Home

When weatherizing your home for energy conservation, pay close attention to ensuring that your home still has proper ventilation. Installing storm windows, weather stripping, caulking and blown-in wall insulation can reduce ventilation and cause concentrations of indoor air pollutants to increase.

Number of Occupants

The more occupants that live in the house, the more fresh air is needed. If you have a large family, make certain that you are getting enough fresh air into the house to supply each family member with good quality air.

Allergies Bothering You in Closed Winter House?

One fifth of all Americans suffer from allergies affecting the sinuses and lungs. During the winter, everyone is trying hard to keep the house warm and closed off from the outside air. Unfortunately, that also seals up the indoor atmosphere where certain pollutants can irritate allergies. These pollutants include dust mites, pets and mold. The way to eliminate the irritation caused by these things is usually as simple as removing the source. The room you most need to focus on is the room you sleep in. Here are a few tips to help keep the sneezing and sniffing to a minimum this winter.

  • Keep your house properly ventilated and get fresh air on a regular basis.
  • Keep upholstered furniture to a minimum in your bedroom and vacuum it frequently.
  • Cover you mattress, pillows and box springs with an impermeable covering. Dust mites thrive in bedding.
  • Unclutter the room as much as possible to keep down dust and dust mites.
  • Vacuum and dust as frequently as you possibly can. Have someone who is NOT allergy-prone to do this, since these activities can really aggravate allergies.
  • Try to keep your bedroom uncarpeted. Dust mites love carpeting, and even vacuuming twice a week can't combat them.
  • If you can't keep your pet outdoors, at least keep them out of the bedroom, and for heaven's sake, don't let your pet sleep with you!
  • Avoid high humidity. Run humidifiers only when the heater is running.
  • Don't run humidifiers in the room with the door closed.
  • Use super-fine furnace filters and change them frequently (at least once a month).

Safely Thawing Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are in danger of bursting and causing a serious plumbing problem. Even if a frozen pipe is already damaged, you can save money and trouble by thawing it and turning off the water before a plumber can get there to help you. Here are some tips for safely thawing frozen pipes. Safety is a major issue, as many home fires have been started by people trying to thaw pipes with the wrong equipment.

  • Thaw the pipes as quickly as possible after you discover they are frozen.
  • Leave the main water supply valve open. Incoming water pressure will help remove loosened ice.
  • Start at the faucet when thawing and work towards the source.
  • Use one of these six safe methods to safely thaw a pipe:
    1. Electric Iron This provides the most concentrated heat to thaw a pipe. You should lash the iron to the pipe with wire (never use combustible materials such as rope or string). Move the iron down the pipe as the thawing begins. CAUTION: Be careful not to touch the heated areas of the pipe.
    2. Hair Dryer Use an electric hair dryer to blow warm air directly on the suspected frozen area.
    3. Heat Lamp Use an infrared heat lamp directly on the suspected frozen area. For added efficiency, place a piece of sheet metal or aluminum foil behind the pipe while heating.
    4. Soldering Iron A soldering iron may be useful where an electric iron won't fit. You can lash this to the pipe in the same way you would lash an iron.
    5. Heating Cable Wrap a heating cable around the pipe in the suspected frozen area.
    6. Boiling Water Pour boiling water on the pipe after wrapping rags around the suspected frozen area. This method is slow and messy and may take many gallons of water. CAUTION: Boiling water can cause serious burns. Be extremely careful when transporting and pouring boiling water.
  • CAUTION: Never use a blow torch to thaw frozen pipes. This is the cause of most home fires started when trying to accomplish this task.

Space Heater Safety

If you are using space heaters this winter, you should know that they are a major cause of fires and injuries. Follow these simple precautions to practice space heater safety this winter.

  • When purchasing a space heater, make sure that it is approved by a certified testing organization.
  • Read the manual that came with your space heater before using it
  • Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that might be flammable such as furniture, draperies or curtains, bedding, rugs or clothing.
  • Keep space heaters away from areas where water may come in contact with the heater.
  • If you intend to use a space heater in the bathroom, check the manual before purchasing to make sure it is safe to use in areas where there is water.
  • Keep children away from space heaters. Never leave a child unattended in a room where there is a space heater.
  • Don't plug a space heater into an extension cord. If you have to use an extension cord, check the manufacturer's recommendations on the cord and make sure that it is the proper wire gauge size and type.
  • Don't use space heaters in areas where flammable liquids such as gasoline or kerosene are used or stored. Space heaters have hot parts that can cause sparking and start a fire.
  • Never use a space heater to warm bedding, dry clothes, cook food or thaw pipes.
  • When you're not using a space heater, turn it off and unplug it.
  • Turn off and unplug all space heaters before going to bed.

Planting Seeds Under Lights

Sometimes the winter days can get dreary and boring. Especially if you're happier being outside in the garden or you're home all day. One way to cheer yourself up and get a jump on your neighbors in the gardening department is to start seedlings indoors under fluorescent lights. It's really the best way to grow seeds, because when a seed has just sprouted, it is at it's weakest stage and needs good light. If it doesn't get good light, the seedling will be weak and spindly and may not live. Fluorescent lights provide the right light for good growth to give seedlings enough strength to survive.

One two-tube fixture will give off about 600 foot-candles of light to an area about two feet wide by five feet long if you keep the fixture within six inches of the plants. Since these fixtures give very little heat, they won't damage plants when they are placed that close. Use Cool White tubes for growing seedlings. The expensive tubes made especially for plants aren't necessary unless you're growing plants such as African violets or orchids.

Growing your own seedlings will also give you an opportunity to experiment with some new varieties in your garden next spring - varieties that your neighbors won't have because local nurseries won't be selling bedding plants for all the unusual plants you can start as seedlings. Happy growing!

Winter Safety Tips - Avoiding Falls

When we get a little, older our thinning bones make falling one of the biggest health hazards we face. For maximum safety during the winter when icy surfaces can make your risk of falling even greater, follow these suggestions:

  • Wear thinner soled shoes if you have poor circulation or loss of feeling in your legs and feet. These will help with better traction and better sensitivity to the surface you're walking on.
  • If arthritis and sore joints are a problem, use thicker soled shoes to cushion the impact of walking and give you greater support.
  • Wear sturdy, low-heeled shoes.
  • Avoid going onto surfaces where ice may form without someone with you. You can use them as support and you won't end up falling somewhere where you can't get help quickly.
  • Be especially careful on stairways. Always use hand rails.
  • Don't get in a hurry. Falls most often occur when you're walking faster than usual.
  • Use your common sense when deciding where to walk in the winter.

Does Your Family Have a Fire Plan?

Your family needs to be prepared in case of a fire. Children especially need to fully understand what to do and should practice these rules often. Otherwise, they will naturally run and hide from a fire instead of getting out of the house safely. Get a family fire-escape plan ready and have fire drills at least once a month. You can even print out the drill and tape it to the refrigerator so the whole family is reminded often of the plan.

  • Make sure that everyone knows to ways out of every room.
  • Teach children to crawl on their hands and knees to get low under smoke.
  • Teach children how to close door behind them to slow the spread of fire and smoke.
  • Plan alternate escape routes.
  • Teach children to lay low and shout their names out if they are trapped in a smoke-filled room.
  • Plan a meeting spot outside the house, at a neighbor's or in a special place in the yard a good distance from the house.
  • Teach kids that once they get outside, they should stay outside.
  • Make a sketch of the layout of each floor of your house, including windows, doors and stairways. Mark escape routes from each room on the sketch.
  • Hold frequent fire drills, including some at night. Make sure everyone is following the plan perfectly.
  • Assign a member of the family to be responsible for the younger and older members of the family. Get a "buddy" system going so everyone is taken care of.
  • Assign a responsible adult to look after house pets in case of fire.
  • Assign someone to call 911.
  • And if there is a fire, remember, COUNT HEADS, STAY TOGETHER and DON'T GO BACK into the house for personal belongings.

Don't Forget Your Feathered Friends This Winter

During the winter months, birds often have a difficult time finding the food they need to survive. A bird feeder outside your window not only helps to keep your feathered friends warm and full during the winter months, but it can also provide you with hours of pleasure. You may even gain some permanent residents when springtime comes and they are looking for a place to build their nests! Here's some tips for keeping the birds fat and happy this winter.

What should I feed the birds?

Bird food normally means seeds. You can buy birdseed at any number of places. Even though it might be cheaper to buy large quantities, remember that birdseed may encourage insects. If you do buy large quantities, store in dry, covered containers. If you want to have a variety of birds, you need a variety of seeds. You can buy it pre-mixed or mix your own. Always include sunflower seeds as nearly all birds like those. Some birds also like suet, which gives birds the extra heat and energy they need to fly well.

What type of feeder should I use?

Different species of birds prefer different types of feeders. Among the basic types of feeders available there are:

Platform Feeders - these have a flat surface with a tray around the edge where the seed is scattered. If you live in a very windy area, these may not be practical as the seed can be blown away.

Hopper Feeders - these are the type that self-replenish the seed as it is used. Perching birds such as finches, chickadees and cardinals are fond of this type of feeder. However, so are squirrels!

Tube Feeders - these are the hard, tubular plastic feeders that are designed for hanging from trees or porches. They attract smaller perching birds like finches. The small feeding port in tube feeders discourages larger birds and squirrels.

Suet Feeders - suet feeders are good for areas where there are lots of insects, because insect-eating birds love suet but don't normally care for seed feeders. These insect-eating birds will help control the insect population in your yard.

Nectar Feeders - these are used in warmer climates and help attract hummingbirds and orioles. The solution used is one part sugar to four parts of water. If you want lots of hummingbirds, place several feeders around the yard.

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