Home Maintenance New Year’s Resolutions #5: Learn How to Maintain my HVAC

Posted by: on December 30th, 2011 | Make A Comment

HVAC Maintenance

Air conditioners and heating systems are some of the highest energy drainers in our homes. Even though the latest technological advances have decreased the amount of energy required to run our heating and cooling systems, there are several do-it-yourself steps you can take to help get more mileage out of your HVAC system and save on energy costs.

According to HVAC Hub, a leading resource for homeowners and HVAC professionals, there are 15 DIY maintenance tips to help keep your heating and cooling systems operating efficiently:

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Home Maintenance New Year’s Resolutions #4: Stop Air Conditioning the Outdoors

Posted by: on December 29th, 2011 | Make A Comment

Home Winterization

Since New Year’s Day is almost here, it’s a great time to discuss winterizing your home. There are many small projects you can do that will keep the cold air out and save you money on utility bills.

One test that everyone should try is the hair-dryer & ribbon test for doors and windows that demonstrates whether or not you have gaps that need plugging.

Here is a picture of the ribbon test set up. Tape the ribbons on the door near the bottom so the ribbons lay on the floor in front of the door on the inside. In this photo, the ribbons are lying still on the floor.

Once on the other side of the door, aim your hair dryer at the door threshold and turn it on. If the ribbons don’t move, you have a sharp, air tight seal. If the ribbons spring to life, you have some work to do. Here you can clearly see our ribbons dancing around, indicating gaps that need to be plugged. You can also run this same test on your windows.

To plug any gaps around windows and doors, think weather stripping.

The Home Depot carries over 300 weather stripping-related products on homedepot.com. You can find all kinds of door seals, sweeps, bottoms and thresholds that help you get air-tight seals to keep out the elements.

We also have window insulation kits that improve the insulating power – called the R-value – of single pane windows by up to 90%. These kits will stop window drafts and limit heat loss. Caulk is another great application. Apply caulk in any gaps you find in your baseboards or crown moulding.

Next, let’s talk insulation. One of the best ways to get a warm cozy home is by adding insulation in your attic and basements to reach the recommended R-value for your area. This R-Value chart paints a colorful picture so you know how much insulation you need for your attics and floors.

Remember to stock up on ice melt and traction control mixtures to melt away snow and ice from your porches, walkways, driveways and sidewalks. Make sure your snow blower is ready for the season by checking the spark plugs, gasoline and oil levels.

To make sure you are on top of these all-important tasks, make a note on your calendar, day-timer, blackberry or smart phone for January 1, 2012. At that time, conduct the ribbon tests and consider adding insulation if your R-values are not up to code. Then, complete your home winterization planning by ordering some ice melt from homedepot.com, and checking to make sure your snow blower is in tip-top shape.

Editor’s Note: In this 7-part series on home maintenance, we take a look at different home maintenance topics that sometimes slip our minds. We offer research and advice on how to tackle each one without emptying your wallet. Be sure to use homedepot.com as a resource throughout the year to successfully complete each task and save money.

Home Maintenance New Year’s Resolutions #3: Make Sure My Plumbing Doesn’t Break

Posted by: on December 28th, 2011 | Make A Comment

Plumbing Precautions

There is no part of our home that’s more of an afterthought than our plumbing system. But if you’ve ever been unlucky enough to be downstream from a water main break, you know firsthand how inconvenient life can be when you don’t have running water.

Just think of all the day-to-day tasks that require running water: cooking, bathing, showering, flushing, landscaping and hot-tubbing, just to name a few.

So for 2012, take the following seasonal steps to take care of your plumbing so you aren’t left high and dry.

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All About Oil-Filled Radiator Heaters

Posted by: on December 27th, 2011 | 3 Comments


Oil-filled radiator heaters are a great way to warm up any room in your home. Not only are they an efficient source of convection heat, but they are safe around children, pets and in any high activity space in the house.

Watch this video as Home Depot associate, Above Average Joe, explains how oil-filled heaters work and why he loves to recommend them to customers looking for the perfect way to get through these cold winter days and nights. Visit Above Average Joe and our other expert associates on The Home Depot How-To Community Forum.

See more DIY and home improvement videos here on the Home Depot blog and on The Home Depot’s YouTube channel.

Home Maintenance New Year’s Resolutions #2: Prevent My House From Burning Down

Posted by: on December 27th, 2011 | Make A Comment

A fire extinguisher and smoke alarm, two essential items for home maintenance and safety

Smoke Detectors, Carbon Monoxide Detectors & Fire Extinguishers

In part one, we reviewed Fireplace & Chimney Maintenance. Today, we’re focusing on a related topic, maintaining smoke detectors, carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and fire extinguishers in your home.

To further illustrate the importance of having all three of these items in your home, see how you score on the following quiz:

1. By percentage, how many US homes have smoke alarms?

A. 88%

B. 92%

C. 96%

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Home Maintenance New Year’s Resolutions #1: Maintain My Fireplace in the Off Season

Posted by: on December 26th, 2011 | One Comment

Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance

Many of us have wood or gas burning fireplaces in our home. But does it ever cross your mind how to properly care for your fireplace and chimney?  One big reason you should: saving money.

Chimney sweepers stay busy in the winter months and the months leading up to winter, so it makes sense to schedule an appointment in the spring or even summer to take advantage of off-season discounts.

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Happy Holidays

Posted by: on December 25th, 2011 | 2 Comments

From all of us at The Home Depot, “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Christmas tree from Martha Stewart Living

How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets With a White Faux Finish

Posted by: on December 23rd, 2011 | 3 Comments
Refinishing Cabinets with a Faux White Finish

From Home Re-Design Kaleidoscope

White cabinets were among the hot kitchen design trends of 2011. This trend shows signs of continuing well into 2012 as more modern and simplistic kitchen décor becomes the norm. Forum community member NancyL18 is among those who’ve added refinishing cabinets to their project lists. Her project hit a snag and store associate PatInPaint stepped in with the solution.

NancyL18 wanted cabinets that looked almost white with a little of the wood grain showing through. She spent hours de-glossing and sanding, taking her time so she wouldn’t have to repeat the process. When she’d finished the glazing process, she was excited to see her cabinet doors and drawers turned out perfect. However, her excitement quickly turned to disappointment and frustration when her kitchen cabinets turned out a dirty gray … definitely not how she planned it!

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The True Meaning Of Festivus

Posted by: on December 23rd, 2011 | 3 Comments

Fetivus Poles


Tales of deal-crazed shoppers, descending on stores like marauding hordes of angry Goths, trampling small children for $2 waffle irons and pepper-spraying all who would stand between them and the last Xbox, have left many yearning for the simpler times – “many Christmases ago” – when it was first realized that “there had to be another way.”

Fortunately, on a fateful day in February of 1966, Festivus (For The Rest Of Us) came to be. The brainchild of writer Dan O’Keefe, what began as a quaint a family tradition in opposition over commercialization of Christmas, became a North Star of sorts to the holiday weary after it was immortalized in the 1997 episode of Seinfeld, “The Strike”, written by O’Keefe’s son Daniel [via Wikipedia].

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Winter Weather Checklist: 9 Things You Need To Prepare For

Posted by: on December 21st, 2011 | 2 Comments

Winter is right around the corner. While you’re busy looking forward to the fun stuff — like cold-weather camping, winter sports, snowball fights and snow angels — make sure you’re prepared for the not-so-fun stuff like icy roads, frosts, freezing rain and heavy snow. Here are 10 things you’ll need to be prepare for winter weather and whatever it throws your way.

1.  Snowblower. We live in a busy world. Who really has time to be shoveling snow? A snowblower makes clearing your sidewalk and street faster and easier. Learn how to choose a snowblower that meets your needs.

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