Warming up a chilly closet, forcing tulips, and recycling those old
BOSTON — Q. The walk-in closet in our apartment shares a wall with an outside storage room. Apparently there is no insulation in the wall, because on cold days the closet registers 40 degrees F. Is there a way to insulate the wall without damaging it? - J.L.B., Overland Park, Kan.
A. Adding insulation inside the closet won't help much, says Howard Clark, a construction supervisor.
Even with enough insulation, you'd be stuck with the problems of getting heat into an unheated space and the closet chilling your bedroom. A frequently used walk-in closet should have been designed with its own supply of heat, so its temperature stays in balance with the adjacent room.
For heating, it's considered another room, not a closet.
But adding heat into your walk-in closet should be done with care. An unattended appliance heater among clothing is not a good idea, yet over-heating your bedroom to keep your closet warm is not a comfortable option either. The best way is to add heat to the closet by branching off the apartment's heating system.
Approach your landlord with the problem; explain it in terms of heating costs, safety concerns, as well as comfort for a good tenant, and the landlord may agree to look into solutions that may not be that difficult or expensive to implement.
Q. What do florists know about forcing tulips that I don't? Theirs stand erect, mine flop over. - R.Q., Wausau, Wis.
A. Tulips forced by professionals get light from the top, not from the sides, according to a spokesman for the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center.
But even at the florist, the plants will grow to the light if placed in a window. The solution: Just turn the pot one-quarter every day.
Q. What charitable organizations recycle greeting cards? - V.M., Perry Point, Md.
A. St. Jude's Ranch for Children, a home for abused children, welcomes used holiday cards. Send to:
St. Jude's Ranch for Children 100 St. Jude's St. Boulder City, NV 89005 Or, for a list of places that reuse holiday cards, send an SASE to: Jack Early All-Year Christmas Cheer 134 Pfeiffer St. San Francisco, CA 94133
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