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Project Ideas: Seasonal & Holiday

Get Ready To Spring Forward With These 10 Easy DIY Projects



It’s that time of year again: Daylight Savings Time!  Most of the country will “spring ahead” at 2:00 am on March 13th.  You get to enjoy more light at the end of the day, which is useful because you need more time to change ALL the clocks around the house.  It takes me about an hour to change the time on older appliances, the watches, and the clock in the car.  Besides setting the time, there are several other important projects you can take care of around the home that will save you time, effort, and money.  The few minutes spent checking and making small changes will bring peace of mind and possibly even save your life.  Here are 10 easy projects to help you make the most of that extra hour of daylight this spring:



1. Test The Batteries In All Smoke Detectors


Daylight Savings weekend has numerous advertisements reminding you to test the battery in your smoke detector.  Remember to test ALL detectors, whether battery operated or hardwired detectors, since the batteries will sound the alarm in the event of a loss of power.  Also take a moment to look at your detector to ensure it is physically secured to the wall.  Be sure the case fits snugly over the alarm.  Replace the detector if either portion is physically damaged.



2. Upgrade Your Smoke Detectors


Technologically speaking, smoke detectors have come a long way.  Newer smoke detectors can literally last for 10 years; simply replace the entire unit during the next decade.  Some detectors will emit flashing lights, others, like the Nest Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm, connect to an app on your phone, while others transmit spoken warnings.



3. Install A Carbon Monoxide Detector


Having a detector that also senses carbon monoxide (CO) is an excellent addition to rooms, hallways, or basements where heating units or ventless fireplaces are located.  Since CO is a colorless and odorless gas, early detection is critical for family safety.  Some manufacturers house smoke and CO alarm systems in a single packaging for efficient detection.


4. Safely Store A Home Fire Extinguisher


Where there is smoke, there is the potential for fire.  Some local codes require that a fire extinguisher be located in the kitchen.  An 1-A:10-B:C fire extinguisher is an excellent choice for home use since it will extinguish wood, paper, liquids and electronics.  Learn how to use a fire extinguisher in the event you need to use one.



5. Check The Batteries That Run Your Home


When the batteries in the smoke detector get old, you hear the distinct sound of an annoying chirp.  However many battery-operated devices do not give a warning.  Take a walk around your home and check the batteries in the security systems, garage door openers, door bells, flashlights, and all the remote controls in the entertainment area.  If you don’t remember the last time you changed the battery, it may be time to purchase replacement batteries.  Most of my devices use AA or AAA batteries, however a few require less common batteries.  I keep a reference list of the number and type of those batteries so I know what to purchase when the time comes to replace them.



6. Store Your Batteries In A Common Location



Personally, my life changed when I started using the Sterilite Stack and Carry 2-Layer Storage Organizer to store small, infrequently used items.  I store all my extra batteries on the top layer for easy access; now there is no more fishing for batteries from the bottom of the “junque drawer!”  The bottom layer holds the older video camera and a small cordless drill with charger when not in use.  The case, with the battery reference list, sits cool, dry and accessible on the top shelf in the pantry until needed.  I love being able to see through the organizer and having 2 sections makes it easy to separate contents.  The best part of the “stack and carry” is the ability to carry wherever needed to replace batteries.


7. Update Your First Aid Safety And Emergency Kit



In the pantry next to the battery stack and carry organizer is the first aid safety kit, also in a clear tote for high visibility and accessibility.  The pantry affords easy access to all parts of the home – inside or outside and upstairs or downstairs.  I also added extra supplies including a flashlight, manual can opener, disposable gloves, dust mask, and safety glasses.  Knowing that I have these supplies available and ready if the need should arise will save time and effort at a critical time. 


8. Change Your Furnace Filter



Daylight Savings Time is an early indication that spring is well on its way.  Soon the snow will melt and the grass will grow again.  This also means that pollen season is just around the corner.  After spending the holidays and long winter indoors with the heat on and the windows closed, the furnace filter is due for a change!  Replace the air filter as recommended by your HVAC manufacturer. 


Consider picking up an extra filter as a pre-emptive strike against the pollen and dander that is coming with the early spring weather that we are experiencing.  Our Air Filters Buying Guide details important features about air filters and explains how to read the performance rating system.



9. Check Out Air Purification Units


I like to take an extra step when freshening up the air inside my home.  My tabletop air purifier works wonders in the bedroom for a restful night’s sleep.  Some HVAC systems have add-on air purification units for improving whole-house air quality.  This is especially helpful if pollen and other allergens such as dust or pet dander affect your sleeping and breathing patterns.  You can schedule a seasonal maintenance check for your HVAC system or opt for a duct cleaning service to keep the air in your home healthy.


10. Clean Your Major Appliances

Your appliances can operate more efficiently when they are clean inside and out.  Make sure the water and air filters on your major appliances are replaced regularly; refer to the user manual for a change schedule if the filter unit does not have a light to indicate time to change.  Be sure to check the vacuum and water filtration systems also.


My favorite cleaning involves using the appliance brushes – my dynamic duo.  They are able to reach behind and under appliances and in crevices.  The unique designs help you remove dust, dirt, hair, pet dander, and other particulates from the condenser coils of refrigerators, air conditioners, and freezers as well as cleaning dryer vents and vent filters.  Your appliances will operate more efficiently once the hindrances are removed. 



These Daylight Saving Time easy DIY projects will not take much time, money, or energy to complete.  The benefits of such a small investment includes:


* living safely

* being ready to change a battery or handle an emergency

* operating devices more efficiently

* extending the life of major appliances

* feeling better (inside and out)

* breathing easier

* saving money

* having peace of mind


Have a Happy Spring Season!

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Posted 2016-02-12T21:28:16+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL Eileen_HD_ATL
Spring is a key time of year to think about HVAC and furnace maintenance. It is very important to follow all these tips to ensure the happy springs. Most important is to maintain our HVAC systems. The HVAC system in your house is responsible for keeping you warm in the winter, and cool in the summer. Keeping it in peak running condition certainly makes life easier. It is recommended to do a spring/fall maintenance plans with your trusted community based HVAC company Essex County NJ. It's important in this in-between time to take a good look at your air conditioner and make sure it's ready for the impending summer season.
Posted 2017-05-27T11:09:01+0000  by ErinMNall
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