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   Tips to Help you Maintain Your Home - One Minute at a Time

Changing Your Smoke Detector Batteries
Tip: Change your smoke detector batteries every 6 months, even if they haven’t run out. Use the old batteries in something less important, like a walkman.

Related Article:  How to Make Your Home Healthy and Safe
Related Link:     http://www.cfdonline.org/detector.htm

Testing Your Smoke Detectors
Tip: Test the smoke detector once a month by pressing the button and listening for the loud beep. Do not use a lighted match or candle to introduce smoke to the detector. Repeated use of smoke can cause damage to the smoke detector.

Related Article:  Avoid Grill Fires, Explosions, & Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Related Link:     http://www.cfdonline.org/detector.htm

Scheduling Your Furnace Inspection
Tip: Schedule the inspection before the weather gets cold, so that you have more options for appointments, and time to fix things if they need repair.

Related Article:  Best Ways to Reduce Winter Heating Bills
Related Link:     http://www.furnacehelper.com/

Changing Your Furnace Filters
Tip: Check with your city or town about how to dispose of used oil burner filters. In most places, it is considered regular trash.

Related Article:  Best Ways to Reduce Winter Heating Bills
Related Link:     http://www.furnacecompare.com/faq/furnace_filter_faq.html

Cleaning Your Gutters
Tip: This is best to do every few weeks in the Fall. Neglected gutters can lead to pest infestations, wood-rot, wet basements, and other expensive complications. Don’t try to save money or time by not doing this one.

Related Article:  Protecting Your Roof
Related Link:     http://doityourself.com/gutters/cleangutters.htm

Inspecting Your Dryer Vent
Tip: Placing the dryer on a platform of cinder-blocks or wood, to raise it up 6 to 12 inches, will reduce the need to bend when taking things out of the washer to put them into the dryer. Use only flexible metal hose for dryer vent connections; plastic hosing increases dry times.

Related Article:  How to Buy Appliances
RelatedLink:      http://homerepair.about.com

Inspecting the Hoses to Your Washing Machine
Tip: If you don’t know how old your washing machine hoses are, it is probably time to replace them. Hoses with pre-formed metal elbows at the ends, which attach to your washing machine, will reduce kinking. Make sure there are at least four inches between the water connection and the back of the washing machine. This space will help reduce the chances that the hose will kink.

Related Article:  Find That Leak
Related Link:     http://www.statefarm.com

Inspecting the Plumbing under Your Sink
Tip: Homeowners’ insurance generally covers household water damage if the damage is sudden and accidental, such as damage caused by burst pipes. It does not cover damage caused over time by lack of maintenance. Look at your water bill. By comparing monthly usage figures, you may get tipped off to a small leak before it becomes a big one.

Related Article:  Find That Leak
Related Link:     http://www.ibhs.org/publications/view.asp

Changing Your Air Conditioning Filters
Tip: Change air conditioning filters every month while they’re in use. Dirty filters force your air conditioner to work harder, costing you more money in utility bills. Unless you’re sensitive to dust or other indoor allergens, inexpensive filters will do the job just fine.

Related Article:  Air Duct Cleaning Can Help You Breathe Easier
Related Link:     http://www.warmair.com/html/air_filters.htm

Applying Fall Fertilizer
Tip: Make sure to use special Fall winterizing fertilizer. Its mix of nutrients is different, to help your lawn stay healthy through the Winter, and come back strong in the Spring.

Related Article:  Top 10 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Lawn
Related Link:     http://www.lawncare.com/index.cfm

Applying Spring Fertilizer
Tip: Time the fertilization so that it’s used up by the time Summer begins. If you started late, use a quick release fertilizer.

Related Article:  Top 10 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Lawn
Related Link:     http://www.lawncare.com/index.cfm

Obtaining an Oil Change on Your Car
Tip: Stay at the facility while the oil filter is being changed. Make sure that a new oil filter is being used, not a used one.

Related Article:  Get Assurance with Cost-Effective Insurance
Related Link:     http://www.aoca.org/

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