Before you get too wrapped up in Autumn decorating or Halloween preparations, try doing something much more practical for your house. While it may not be flashy, basic seasonal maintenance tasks can vastly improve the comfort level and safety of your home. And while I love a pretty house as much as the next person, I also equally value a warm, cozy, and healthy home as well.
I've separated the home maintenance tasks into two categories: Quick Fixes and Bigger Repairs. The quick fixes require as little as a run to the hardware store and a half hour or less of your time, while the bigger repairs often require a professional. Regardless, take a look at both lists to make sure your home's on track. I'll start out today's tasks with the Quick Fixes list, and check back later for the Bigger Repairs list. Quick Fixes
- Caulk cracks. Buy caulk and a caulk gun and use it to fill any holes or cracks in your walls, windows, and doors. This will help prevent moisture buildup inside your walls, which could cause structural damage.
- Weather strip around doors and windows to help lower your heating bills. This is something you can do yourself and often costs $25 or less. See what Lou Manfredini had to say about using weather stripping in your home.
- Clean your gutters. Carefully stand on a ladder and use a broom to wipe leaves and detritus out of the gutters. If you have to get any gutters fixed, assess whether you can do it yourself or hire a handyman (or better yet, ask a handy friend) to help.
- Replace the filter in your furnace. Many filters can be changed by simply sliding the old filter out and the new one in. Make sure to read the directions to ensure you've installed the filter correctly, and opt for a middle- or top-of-the-line filter. They're not that expensive, and they'll definitely improve the indoor air quality.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas, is produced when fuel such as natural gas, wood, or coal is incompletely burned. To prevent a tragedy in your family, the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends installing a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home. A detector should be located within 10 feet of each bedroom door, and there should be one near or over any attached garage. Learn more about carbon monoxide detectors here.
Check back later today for my Bigger Repairs list.