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10 Home Hacks to Prepare your House for Winter

10 Home Hacks to Prepare your House for Winter

As the leaves begin to change colors and the air becomes brisker, it reminds us that winter is on the near horizon. In addition to bringing out the winter clothes and making sure the heat is working, it’s worthwhile to keep in mind these 10 home hacks below, which will help prepare your house for winter so you can fully enjoy the coldest months of the year:

1. De-Icing Roof Cables

Frozen ice forming on shingles or gutters can result in costly damage. To prevent this, it’s recommended to use a de-icing roof cable or heat tape, which you can turn on before a storm hits and be assured that the cable will prevent ice from forming under the edge of shingles or along the gutter.

2. Sealing Air Leaks

To get the most out of your heating system, ensure that your windows are sealed and not letting warm air escape in exchange for cold air. Test for air leaks by placing candles around locations in your house on a windy day with the windows shut; if the flame moves, there is an air leak nearby. If this is the case, make sure to caulk and seal all air leaks, primarily by caulking and weatherstripping doors and windows. Don’t have time to caulk, just place bubble wrap between the window and the screen to keep out that cold draft.

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fire place hacks

    3. Tin Foil: Fireplace Cleaner

    An unlikely fireplace cleaner is tin foil, which can be used by placing a double layer of it across the bottom of a fireplace or wood grate before lighting a fire. When the fire is finished the next day, simply fold the tin foil – which will contain ashes – up and throw it away. Just be sure the fire is completely out when cleaning up.

    4. Stove Pot Humidifier

    Using a stove pot humidifier is a nice and cost-effective way to keep your house warmer for longer. Plus, using lemon juice or cinnamon sticks with the humidifier will give your home a fresh and clean-smell.

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    keep the bed warm during winter

      5. Warm Water Bottles

      Since as early as the 16th century, containers with warm water have been used to provide warmth while in bed. The electric blanket is essentially a contemporary version of what hot water containers did in the past. You can use several warm water bottles and lay them on a bed several minutes before climbing in to ensure it’s nice and toasty.

      6. Pebble Boot Tray

      If you’re tired of the wet snow remnants from boots and shoes when people enter the house, consider using a pebble boot tray; when wet shoes or boots sit on these, the snow and ice will drain through the rocks to the bottom of the tray so the footwear will dry quicker and more efficiently. Plus, most of the moisture tends to evaporate under the rocks so only occasional cleaning is necessary. This works for all types of residences, from small apartments to large multi-family homes.

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      7. Rubbing Alcohol and Dishwashing Liquid: Salt Alternatives

      If you run out of salt but need to urgently de-freeze your steps or driveway outside, consider using rubbing alcohol and dishwashing liquid. By mixing together one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and half a gallon of hot water, you’ll create a concoction that you can pour over sidewalks and driveways to melt ice. Plus, it’s better for a sidewalk or driveway than salt, which can eat away at concrete.

      8. Desiccant Air Dryers

      If you have a basement that has a tendency to get wet, consider purchasing a regenerative desiccant compressed air dryer, which uses pressure swing adsorption to efficiently dry wet rooms or areas. They come in various sizes to fit all types of residences. Sustained wetness can cause mold growth, so an air dryer is recommended if there is an issue, especially during breakup season.

      9. Orange Peel as a Fire Starter

      One can use orange peels as fire starters due to the oil in the orange’s skin, which can fuel fires while releasing less creosote than paper. To use the orange as a fire starter, dry its peels on a sheet pan and toss them in a paper bag, with a silica packet to maintain freshness. It’s easy to make and will have your fireplace room smelling like delicious oranges!

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      fire starters

        10. Programmable Thermostat

        You can save money and energy with programmable thermostats, which can adjust to a user-set temperature program with flexible time-of-day and seasonal adjustments. They also look sleek in their digital presentation, compared to the old-fashion drabness of traditional thermostats.

        With the ten home hacks above, your winter should become more stress-free due to less work and repair issues arising at home. It makes enjoying winter that much easier.

        Featured photo credit: Hollin Elizabeth via flickr.com

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        Last Updated on January 25, 2021

        What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

        What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

        It’s always fun to do something new, but often we fall into the trap of spending our weekends the same way.

        If you’re stuck in the same old routine, it might be time to try something new.

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        What should I do today? No ideas?

        Everything listed here is something you can easily do no matter where you live, and even on a tight budget! Try out one of these 30 new things today, you’ll be happy you did.

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        Try Out These 30 New Things To Do Today

        1. Visit a suburb in your city that you’ve never been to before, or somewhere you haven’t explored much.
        2. Learn ten phrases in a new language–what about Japanese, Italian or Portuguese?
        3. Listen to a genre of music you haven’t tried before–perhaps Jazz, Punk or Blues?
        4. Have a picnic in your local park complete with a packed lunch and your animal friends.
        5. Start a daily journal to write your thoughts in.
        6. Try a new cuisine–what about French, Lebanese or Korean?
        7. Visit your local library and borrow some books for the weekend.
        8. Plant some flowers in your garden. If you don’t have one, try an indoor potted plant.
        9. Visit a local museum or art gallery and view their latest exhibition.
        10. Learn a new skill–what about sewing, gardening or cooking? You’ll be surprised what you can learn in an afternoon.
        11. Say hello to a neighbor you don’t usually talk to.
        12. Make a card for a friend and send it to them with a handwritten note.
        13. Learn how to cook a new dish for dinner. We all get tired of eating the same thing, why not try making something new?
        14. Re-read an old favorite book. Don’t leave it gathering dust on your book shelf; get it out and read it all over again.
        15. Research the culture of a different country online–what about India, Guatemala or Sweden?
        16. Go for a walk or bicycle ride around your neighborhood.
        17. Watch a classic film like Casablanca, The Godfather or The Wizard of Oz.
        18. Make a photo album of a recent holiday you took. Don’t let your memories get lost on your computer hard drive; make a special keepsake album of your trip.
        19. Visit your local farmers markets and pick out some fresh produce. Farmers markets are full of delicious fresh fruit, veggies and more. Find your local market and take a visit.
        20. Plan a day trip to somewhere outside your city–it might be the seaside, mountains or another city!
        21. Check out what community events are running in your area and attend one.
        22. Make a birthday present for a friend. Handmade gifts are personal and much more special than anything you could buy from a store.
        23. Attend a play at your local theater. Support your local theater and have a fun night out at the same time.
        24. Volunteer with your local nature conservation society to plant some trees. Conservation societies are always looking for helping hands; do your bit and plant some trees.
        25. Be a tourist in your own city and visit all the popular tourist sites you’ve likely never been to (don’t forget your camera!)
        26. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to recently and have a good long chat.
        27. Put on your favorite song and dance your heart out. You might be surprised at how much fun you have!
        28. Invite some friends over for a BBQ. There’s nothing better than an afternoon spent with good friends and good food.
        29. Try out a new form of exercise like Pilates, tennis or swimming.
        30. Organize a clothing swap with your friends. You’ll have a great time, and save some cash and the environment all at the same time!

        Now that you’ve read my list of 30 new things to try today, my question for you is, “what new things will you try today?”

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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