Isn’t it difficult to maintain the car, house, yard family and not spend a fortune to do so? My husband and I have been married for 20 years and raised four kids in a 80-year old home that needs lots of repair. So we have found all sorts of maintenance tips and tricks along the way. Here are some that are easy and cheap and yet are very often forgotten or overlooked.
Replace furnace or central air filters every month. Clean air conditioner filters daily when in use. They will run better and safer.
Clean dryer and filters after each use. Rinse and dry them every few weeks or so. Fabric softener can clog the screen. Lint build up is a major safety hazard and causes your dryer to run less efficiently. Take a vacuum hose and vacuum the lint compartment as well. Clean the outside vent as well.
Change your vacuum cleaner bags regularly. Clean out hoses and traps. This well help your vacuum run better and safer.
Empty crumbs out of your toaster frequently; this will help prevent fires and electrical shorts.
Keep dust from accumulating on any plugs or outlets.
Clean your oven every few months; this is a huge safety precaution. Also keep gas stove jets clean.
Keep the fridge defrosted. This is a safety issue and a money saver.
Vacuum out heat ducts.
Use your narrow nozzle to vacuum out your computer vents.
Caulk or silicone any holes or cracks in walls, baseboards, etc. This keeps heat from escaping and also prevents mice and bats from getting into the house.
Apply weather-stripping around doors and windows.
Don’t use outlets that don’t hold plugs securely or are cracked. Replace damaged electrical fixtures.
Test your smoke alarm and replace batteries spring and fall.
Check your fire extinguishers; they may need recharging (refilling).
Instant foam insulation works great for all sorts of leaks. ( see link below for details).
REDUCE WATER USAGE
Make sure everyone turns off the water while brushing teeth; you might be surprised how common a habit it is to let the water run while brushing.
Check your inside water meter; it will indicate any water leaks, usually by a dial that moves. If the dial’s moving; find the leak and fix it.
Don’t let your toilet run; jiggle the handle or check to see if the chain has slipped of the float or the flapper is stuck open. You can do this by opening the tank lid. This is very easy to do; even I can do it!
Put on a shower head on that puts out less water; most all new shower heads have this.
Don’t just close your windows to keep heat in, but latch them as well. Most all windows have some sort of locking device that not only makes them safer, but creates a seal which keeps air and moisture in. The latches are usually a little handle that you rotate horizontally.
Replace incandescent lighting with florescent or purchase florescent lamps whenever possible. This lighting costs a small fraction of the cost of other forms. It is safe and burns clean. The bulbs are cheap and last for years.
Put a towel or rug in front of exterior doors to ‘sop up’ cold air drafts. For very old, leaky windows put towels on sills, also.
Turn off all electrical appliances not in use; unplug curling irons, blow dryers, coffee pots, toasters, etc. I didn’t know this but my husband said that some current still goes to any plugged in appliance.
Put curtains and drapes up on windows. This will maintain heat in winter and coolness in summer.
Wash clothes on warm or cold. You rarely ever need the hot.
Set your hot water heater on it’s lowest setting. This will prevent burns and cost much less.
Have everyone wear slippers and sweaters in winter.
The main goals are to be safe and comfortable in your home or apartment.