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Handyman December To Do’s

As autumn gives way to winter, it’s time to tackle some maintenance tasks to keep you and your home cozy and warm during the cold weather months ahead.

The to-do below list is packed with easy DIY projects that can make a big difference in your energy bills, as well as some outdoor maintenance to keep hoses and faucets from freezing.

To-Do #1:Replace Furnace Air Filter

The air filter on your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system needs to be replaced every 1-3 months to keep the air in your home clean and flowing freely. A high quality air filter is the best choice to remove mold, pollen, and other microscopic particles from the air.

To-Do #2: Check Attic Insulation

As the weather gets colder, it’s a good idea to check your attic to make sure you have enough insulation and add more if you don’t.

In most cases you can add another layer of insulation on top of what’s already there, using rolls or batts of unfaced insulation or by blowing or spreading loose insulation. If your existing insulation is water damaged or moldy, it will need to be removed and replaced.

To-Do #3: Sealing Cracks and Gaps

To prevent heat loss, it’s important to seal cracks and gaps:

  • Around windows and doors.
  • Where water pipes or wiring go through walls.
  • Weather stripping around windows and doors
  • Thresholds under doors.

To-Do #4: Insulate Drop Down Attic Stairs

While you’re in the attic, don’t forget the attic stairs! Drop down attic stairs are notorious for leaking precious heated air into the attic and reducing the energy efficiency of your home. Attic stair access covers are made of thin plywood, and the construction isn’t very tight, allowing heated air to escape.

To-Do #5: Disconnect and Drain Garden Hoses

Now is the time to head outside and drain your garden hoses before any freezing weather arrives. (I know this doesn’t happen often, but it never hurts to take precautions) Hoses left attached and full of water can be ruined if the water freezes and splits the hose.

Start by disconnecting each hose and removing any spray nozzles. Lift one end of the hose up and move down the hose to allow the water to drain out. Store the drained hoses in a shed or garage until spring.

To-Do #6: Insulate Exposed Water Pipes

A frozen and burst pipe is a very unpleasant winter surprise, so it’s a good idea to insulate water pipes in a crawlspace to reduce the chance of freezing.

To-Do #7: Winter Fire Safety

All houses should have properly installed smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in various areas of the house. Make sure to replace the batteries on alarms as needed or annually. You should also have an easily accessible ABC rated fire extinguisher.

As always, if you need any help with this handyman tasks, please give One Man and a Toolbox a call!

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