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DIY Home Repairs for December

If you haven’t completed November’s DIY projects, it’s not too late! Check out last month’s “to-do” list if you’re not sure!

12641243174_e30e498862_zREMEMBER:  Winter precipitation is impossible to escape (unless you go on vacation), but with a little preparation you can keep your home safe from its byproducts:  ice dams, icicles, heat loss, roof damage, foundation damage, slip-and-falls, and more!  Always keep your walkways shoveled and salted to protect our postal workers.  Do this especially if you have an elderly loved one.

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 (but use caution if it is chemically treated).

The air filter is usually found behind the air return grate mounted on a wall or in the floor. The filter may also be located in or near the air handler.

To replace an air filter:

  1. Turn the heating system off, and wait until it stops running.
  2. Remove the cover on the air return and take out the old air filter.
  3. Before installing the new filter, write the date on it!
  4. Insert the new air filter in the return, making sure the arrow on the edge of the filter is facing in the direction of air flow.
  5. Put the cover back on the air return and turn the heating system back on.
  6. To make it easier to replace next time, put a sticker on or near the return with the size filter you need to buy and when to replace it.

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.

If your home currently doesn’t have attic insulation, the easiest DIY method is to install batts or rolls of insulation between the ceiling joists. To learn now, click here.

To-Do #3: 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.

There are several ways to insulate attic stairs in your home:

  • Seal Cracks
  • Install Weatherstripping
  • Build an Insulating Stair Cover
  • Install a Ready Made Insulating Stair Cover

For more details about these projects, visit www.todayshomeowner.com