Prepare Your Home for the Holidays, While Saving Energy

It’s that time of year when many of us delight in filling our homes with garlands, twinkling lights, ornaments, and decorations. But there are certain details that could dull all our efforts if we don’t take care of them. Home maintenance tasks left undone can spoil the impact you hope to make.

Whether your guests are staying just for the evening or will be overnight visitors, this holiday checklist will help make your home as welcoming and comfortable as possible.

Entrance

Replace burned out or old light bulbs.This is a great opportunity to replace those old energy- wasting bulbs for ones more environmental friendly. You will find a variety of products, from low-voltage pathway lighting to motion-detector floodlights. Light Emitting Diodes, or LEDs, thrive in outdoor environments because of their durability and high performance in cold weather best electric impact wrench . Look for ENERGY STAR LED fixtures such as pathway lights, step lights, and porch lights for outdoor use. Take the time to walk around the house and replace old incandescent light bulbs for small compact white bulbs (CFL), your next power bill will clearly drop some figures.

Make your home slip- and fall-proof. Clean walkways and porches to make them free of ice and snow, use de-icer if necessary. Fix loose treads on exterior steps, loose deck boards or loose pavers on front walkways. Take care of all other tripping/falling hazards while you’re at it, like using double-sided tape to stick down slippery rugs. Tighten the mounting screws on loose handrails. Make sure all outdoor lighting is functioning properly and is turned on when it is dark.

Establish a place to collect coats and jackets. Add extra hangers to your coat closet or designate a room to collect these. You should also consider adding an extra doormat for those wet boots. If you plan for this ahead of time your entrance won’t become a cluttered mess.

Living room

Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. To make your home look clean and nice quickly it is always a good idea to vacuum. Vacuuming not only takes the hair and dust off your carpet it can also make your tile appear much shinier with less grime, and can even make your wood floors appear cleaner. Vacuuming also takes the dust out of the air which many people notice when going in someone’s home. Vacuuming takes no time at all and will make a huge difference on your home.

Make your home tight. You can cut your energy use for heating and cooling, and reduce environmental emissions, from 20% to 50%. by combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with appropriate insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings.

People love to congregate around a fire. The fireplace adds ambiance to any gathering. If you haven’t checked and cleaned your chimney, you should do it before you use it this season. If you have a porch or a deck, take advantage of that extra space by adding a fire pit table, so people can sit around and warm up while enjoying a drink or a coffee.

Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector. Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are highly recommended in homes with fuel-burning appliances, such as natural gas furnaces, stoves, ovens, and water heaters, and fuel-burning space heaters. An alarm signals homeowners if CO reaches potentially dangerous levels.

Kitchen

The kitchen has become an essential room for entertaining with the popularity and effortlessness of serving food buffet style. Thanksgiving is coming, and you can ease some space in the kitchen and add more fun to the whole party, treating yourself with an Outdoor Turkey fryer.A perfect addition to outdoor entertaining, the CSA-certified cooking system offers a fun and delicious new way to cook the Thanksgiving turkey or prepare food for any gathering.

Inspect the dishwasher.Check the strainer/drain area in the bottom of the wash tub (it’s located under the spray arm). Remove food debris and wipe off detergent residue. Remove utensils and any bits of plastic or glass that you find in the bottom of the dishwasher tub. Wipe detergent residue, mold and slime off the door gasket and around the edge of the door, as well as the latch arm that locks the door.

Tune up cabinets. A few minutes with a screwdriver is all it takes to whip loose parts into shape. Tighten loose cabinet hinges. Tighten the screws that mount to the door and to the cabinet wall. While you’re at it, tighten loose drawer and door pulls and drawer slides.

Don’t clean the oven. The self-clean cycle is so stressful on the appliance that it could cause it to fail, right before you need it most. Give a quick cleaning around the top burner elements and leave the rest be. Save the big cleanup until leftovers are safety nestled in the fridge.

Inspect the refrigerator. It’s liable to be opened and closed more times on this one day than it is in a couple of weeks of normal use. Check for the following problems:

-Tighten screws on any loose door handles.

-Fix loose or misaligned door gaskets. Take a nut driver or socket and wrench, loosen all hex head gasket screws, reposition the gasket using a putty knife to shove it into position and retighten. Consider installing a new gasket after the holidays.

-Clear blocked freezer vents. Reposition food in the freezer compartment to clear area around vents.

-Clear cold air vents. Reposition food in fresh food compartment to allow cold air from freezer to move more freely.

-Replace burned out lights with an appliance bulb, typically a clear 40-watt bulb sized for appliance use. If the fresh food compartment is still dark after its replacement, that usually indicates a failed door switch.

Bathrooms

Take care of the toilet.Now’s the time to take care of poor flushing action or a toilet that flushes by itself by replacing the flapper valve or the entire flush mechanism. If the toilet rocks slightly, try tightening its mounting bolts. If you lift the bolt caps and find severely corroded fasteners (don’t be surprised) leave well enough alone and let it go until after the holidays.

Consider adding a dimmer switch for the lights. A dimmer allows the room to be softly lit all evening, making it easy to locate. And if you have never installed a privacy lock for the door, now’s the time.

Make sure the bathroom fan and window are in operating condition.Ventilation is an important part of keeping your bathroom clean and mildew-free.

Guest rooms

Check the rooms are ready for the visitors. Make sure the guest beds have fresh linens.

Clear some closet space or a drawer to make your guests feel more at home. No one likes to live out of a suitcase.

Provide your guests with a bedside clock and reading lamp. Not everyone goes to sleep or wakes at the same time.

Add complimentary heaters. An oil-filled radiator serves as an alternative heat source in small and medium rooms. A 110-volt radiator also could complements a central heating system, bringing warmth to high-use areas while the main system runs on low for more cost-effective heating.

 

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