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Home

    A change of seasons is the theme for fall maintenance projects. The list is long and time is short. Where to begin, where to begin…  Fireplace Burning wood in your fireplace? It’s time for a chimney sweep. You should get your chimney cleaned and inspected before each wood-burning season. Although it is convenient to keep firewood in the house, only bring in enough for your immediate use. A piece of firewood is like a motor home for insects. Leave them parked outside. Tired of paying for and lugging wood? How about gas logs? Check them out and remember – vented gas logs are better than the non-vented variety. Windows and Doors You still have time to get those leaky doors and windows replaced. Energy efficient windows and doors can save you up to 40% on your energy usage. Caulking around your windows and doors, all the way around and not just what you can reach from the floor will help you save even more – PLUS – it’s easy and inexpensive! Furnace Call your favorite heating and air specialists and sign up for a service contract right now. Not only will they make sure your furnace is in good working order for the upcoming season and change your filter (you remember your filter, that thingy that you were supposed to change every month or so?), but in the spring they will make sure you have cool air for the summer. Energy This is a great time to re-up with your gas provider. Don’t just pick up the phone and agree to their flier price either. Negotiate. Big time. I recently had my gas rate lowered from 54 cents a therm to 39 cents a therm just by telling my gas company about a better offer that I had. Also, some gas companies offer other services. One company, believe it or not, will give you tickets to near about any event you are looking for in the Atlanta metro area, if you call them and ask them ahead of time for… Insulation Nothing will help you keep your energy costs in check more than having a well-insulated home. A home energy audit (they are often free) can pin point the areas where you need help. Fall is a great time to schedule one for your house. According to the Department of Energy, an R-value of 49 is good in the attic, while R-11 is suggested for use in your floor joists overhead in your crawlspace.  Remember – when using batt insulation, the paper side goes toward the conditioned part of the house – so in your crawlspace, the paper side goes up.  Gutters As the year goes along one thing is certain; time is running out on getting gutter covers. By getting a good cover on your gutters you can keep falling leaves and other junk out and gutters clean. Solid covers work much better than wire mesh ones. Spend the extra buck and go with them. Down the road you will be much happier. If you are still not convinced that you need covers, now is the time to climb the ladder and clean the gunk out of the gutters. Or better yet you can easily find good companies for this chore at my web-site TheHomeFixItPage.com. Pest Control Cooler temps (at night) means bugs and rodents will be looking for warmth (in your home). Keep them out by caulking and weather stripping any openings in your home. Make sure you have screens over your louvers, and use expandable foam around any holes in the exterior of your home (i.e. drier vent, gas line, or plumbing).  Tonight - turn on all your lights and walk around your house. Every crack and crevice where you see light coming out of your home is an open invitation for pests to come in.  Pick off one of these project a week and by the time the weather cools, your house will be ready for winter! More from Dave Baker » 
  • Here are 5Things that can help you to be less frustrated with your appliances…  - Dishwashers. It will last longer if you keep it clean. If it has a filter (look in the owner’s manual to locate) check it from time to time and remove any debris. Also remove any debris from the bottom of the machine. - Ranges. Check the burners on gas models monthly and clean the burner ports with a needle or toothpick. Don’t touch the igniter however, as it can be easily damaged. Know which burner you will have the most trouble with? That’s correct – the front right one. It gets used more and thus will wear faster. Keep them all in use – rotate your beans… - Fridges and Freezers. Clean the door gaskets occasionally to insure a tight seal. If seal is not snug you can often get it to seal properly by cleaning and heating the seal with a hair drier. Also vacuum the coils, which tend to collect dust lowering the unit’s efficiency, every few months. - Clothes washers and dryers. Heed manufacturer’s recommendations on load capacity. Overloading the units wears down the machines and not only cause efficiency to decline but also can shorten the life of the machine.  Two loads are always better than 1 crammed full load. I know it may take longer, but your washer, and your dryer will be happier… - Oops, that is only 4.  Number 5 comes into play if you are buying a new appliance. Seems to be a lot of this going around also. Many stores that sell appliances now are offering next day delivery. Don’t bank on it though. Often times that is to lull you into the store. There are many hidden restrictions that come into play here, so leave yourself with plenty of time. Why do good stores do this? I don’t know, but you know who you are. Please e-mail me and let me know… More from Dave Baker » 
  • Grab your hammer and join the show! If you want to get the inside scoop on what's new in home improvement or if you're a 'do-it-yourselfer', you'll be listening to the Home Fix-It Show Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.