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Subsidize your snow removal gear by taking paid surveys
Winter is coming. Soon, it will be time to batten down the hatches and gather your snow-removal gear. Need some money for extra winter supplies? Just take a few paid surveys - it's an easy way to earn extra money online. Once you've reinvigorated your budget, peruse our suggestions.
Dig your way out
As most seasoned winter survivors know, snow shovels are essential. The Boston Globe advised diggers to purchase a lightweight wooden shovel with a d-shaped handle and a dual-sided blade. Prospective shovelers should look for a model that costs between $30 and $35. If you're into heavy machinery, you could even pick up a power shovel, reported The New York Times. And remember: Lift with your legs. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggested that snow removers bend their knees and keep their backs straight when shoveling. The organization also advised shovelers to complete a short, 10-minute warm-up prior to clearing away winter precipitation.
Blow winter away
Toronto dentist J.W. Elliott patented the first snow blower in 1869, reported Mental Floss. Elliot's invention, which was developed for clearing railroad tracks on the Canadian Pacific Railroad, was as large as a train car and could propel snow 200 feet in the air. Modern snow blowers are, of course, a little more subdued. Most gasoline-powered models are 21 to 30 inches wide and cost around $300, reported The Times. But before you run out to the hardware store to pick up one of these snow-moving machines, consider other factors like upkeep. According to The Boston Globe, snow blowers require a bevy of extra bits, including backup motor belts, spark plugs and fuel stabilizers. If you purchase one and perform routine maintenance, the cost will be well worth it, as a well-maintained machine can last 15 to 20 years.
Clear the driveway
Want to clear the drive from the comfort of your couch? There's an app for that. In November 2013, two Syracuse University alums released Plowz, an app that allows users to request the services of local snow plows, reported Bloomberg Business. The service functions like Uber. And, like the widely used car service, Plowz activates surge-pricing during periods of high traffic. A single plow costs between $25 and $45. If want to get into the snow-plowing game yourself, get ready to pay up. According to Popular Mechanics, a plow will set you back $1500 to $3000. Of course, you can always stick to drive-clearing classics like deicer. But lose the rock salt and get yourself a calcium- or magnesium-based deicing solution.
Be proactive about your roof
Heavy snow and ice can really do a number on your roof. So before the winter weather hits, perform some prep. Heat tracing cables are an effective preemptive measure, reported Popular Mechanics. Don't pick one of these up at the hardware store, though - call a professional. According to The Boston Globe, most store-bought heating cables require users to switch them on and off manually. Instead, hire a professional to install a "smart system," or heating cables that operate using sensors.
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