I always like to think of fall as the season of colorful endings and crisp beginnings. It’s also a season of reminders; easy DIY maintenance tasks that need to be accomplished to help you get through the cold, ominous days of winter and keep your home running efficiently.
As we’re all getting ready to hibernate for the winter, it’s necessary to keep the outside out, and the inside in. There are a few easy DIY tips that I am going to share with you, to help keep the costs down with your heating bill in the winter, along with the mandatory changing of the water filter, for those that have a well water system, and the biyearly reminder to change the battery in your smoke detector.
If you are like me and live on a well, it is paramount to change the water filter every three months. I’m amazed at how many people I have spoken to about this who have admitted that they have never changed their water filter. Not good. This task is a must and one that you can easily do yourself.
Like anything that runs with a filter, the filter has to be changed out regularly for proper efficiency and cleanliness. Water filters cost less than $20 and can be found in the plumbing section of The Home Depot. First thing’s first, you need to shut the water off. Take the filter wrench and unscrew the bottom of the filter holder, keeping an empty bucket at the ready to catch accumulated water. Pour out whatever extra water is in the holder, and discard the old filter. I recommend running a disinfecting wipe around the inside of the holder, getting out whatever grime may be in there. Place the new water filter in the holder; screw the holder back on to the top, tightening with the wrench to secure. Turn the water back on and you’re good to go for another three months.
Hoping to stay cozy this winter and keep those cold drafts outside? Here are two solutions for you. My first tip is to caulk the gaps in your windows. Simply place a tube of caulk in a caulk gun and run a bead along the bottom of the window frame. Also, if there are any unwanted drafts around the molding of the windows, run a clean bead along the sides there as well.
Second, doors leading outside are huge culprits for letting unwanted cold air inside. A double draft stop is the answer. These stops fit snuggly right under your door. Simply measure the width of your door and cut the foam inserts a half-inch shorter than the measured width. Place the inserts back into the pouch, zip, and slide under the door. This DIY tip is simple, inexpensive and will ultimately help save you money on your heating bill.
And one more tip for the road. The batteries in smoke detectors should be changed twice a year for the older models, and the rule of thumb is always around the time we change our clocks. Most smoke detectors these days have lithium batteries and don’t need to be changed out as frequently. These batteries last between 5-10 years, and I would suggest keeping fall as the time of year to change out these batteries.
These are great fall DIY maintenance tips to help your home run cleaner and more efficiently. They are simple, inexpensive and your efforts will pay off in the long run.