The Gurus of How To Get Ready for Fall

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

autumn leaves Autumn leaves. (hichako/flickr)

The Gurus of How-To, Al Ubell and Larry Ubell, answer questions and give advice on how to repair and maintain your home or apartment. They'll tackle how to prepare for colder weather and make your home more energy efficient.

Call 646-616-7456 with your questions or leave a comment below!


Al Ubell and Larry Ubell

Comments [15]

SamOR from NYC

We have a rental property in upstate NY that has electric heat. Do you know the best system to remotely control the thermostats? We would like to be able to turn the heat off when the renter leaves, if they've left it on, and to prevent them from turning heat on to 90 degrees.
Thank You.

Oct. 09 2013 02:27 PM
Morgan from nyc

Best way to kill mice is the Rat Zapper. Put dry cat or dog food in, when they step inside, they complete a circuit by stepping on two metal plates & it electrocutes them. Runs on batteries, quick death, reusable, easy clean up - just dump into trash & put in more kibble. A light on top flashes when it has been tripped. Best thing we have found by far. We have had 3 different mouse family invasions and it got every mouse.

Oct. 09 2013 02:03 PM

We're about to buy a house from 1940 upstate and the Heatalator is rusted out and needs to be replaced. What will they replace it with - is there a ceramic tile like in woodstoves?

See photos at:


Oct. 09 2013 01:58 PM
Oscar from NY

Please ppl of the world whenever you catch mice on glue traps make sure you kill them before throwing them away... Think how much you'll make them suffer if you don't..I usually get toothfloss and make a nuce and hang them like sadam Hussein

Oct. 09 2013 01:57 PM
Juli from Skillman, NJ

OMG!! This guy is a sicko!! Jeffrey Dahmer got started with his love of mutilating animals too. That is sick.

Oct. 09 2013 01:55 PM
Alan Goldberg from Manhattan

Following a previous call I always thought the semi-circular trap under sinks was to catch the odd lost wedding ring, but someone told me it's about sewer gas and has to be kept wet. Can you explain?

Oct. 09 2013 01:53 PM
Yukie Ohta from SoHo

We live in a loft building in SoHo and we need to replace our old defective heat timer for our boiler. Our heating company suggested that we get a Fuel Watchman Heat Control with all new sensors. Would you recommend this?

Oct. 09 2013 01:48 PM
Richard from NJ

My house has central air conditioning. In the winter I feel a small draft in the return vents and I wonder if it helps to block them in the winter to reduce air leakage.

Oct. 09 2013 01:45 PM
OrrieF from Long Island

Ubell's Quiz answer: the process is knurling.

Oct. 09 2013 01:44 PM
Avi from Riverdale

We did a gut renovation of a 2 family home in Riverdale. We replaced the furnace with a heat pump system which works great in the summer but when the temp drops below 35 degrees, its ability to keep us warm falls off dramatically. Any suggestions?!

Oct. 09 2013 01:42 PM
Ed from Larchmont

In South Plainsfied, NJ, almost all the houses have 6-8 solar panels on their roofs, even the light posts have small solar panels attached to them. Is this becoming more economical to do?

Oct. 09 2013 01:40 PM
Lisa from New York

We recently had new windows installed inour apartment, but kept ou window a/c' units with accordion sides. What would you recommend to prevent drafts that might come through the a/c's?

Oct. 09 2013 01:37 PM


Oct. 09 2013 01:36 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I actually like this segment, when it's on. Those guys are funny, upbeat and provide USEFUL INFORMATION, unlike most of your guests who supply nothing but hot air. Which can be useful in the winter.

Oct. 09 2013 01:27 PM
regina from Centerport, New York

My husband is looking at commercial buildings to expand his nano-brewery and we found one that was totally cleaned out. No tiles on the floors in the offices or bathrooms and no moulding on the walls, etc. Everything has been spray painted white so it looks nice and clean, but they spray painted even the venting that has flakes of old paint and probably been scraped.

The roof has obviously been leaking and there are a number of pvc pipes that seem to lead from the roof to the driveway outside.

We're suspecting that there might have been water damage and maybe a mold problem. Is there a way to verify such a thing? The owners are not answering our questions and we're starting to lose interest.



Oct. 09 2013 10:19 AM

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