Halloween has come and gone, the snow has been falling here on the East Coast, and we can no longer deny that winter has arrived. The silver lining to this cloud is that it’s a perfect opportunity to share our favorite household tips for the season. Here are five simple ways to save money and take care of your home this winter.
Use Frugal Furniture Covers
No space to bring outdoor furniture inside in bad weather? Instead of buying pricy furniture covers, protect lawn chairs and tables by covering them with large plastic bags. If you have metal deck furniture, apply a bit of petroleum jelly to areas where they've been known to rust to prevent them from doing so during the long winter months.
Guard Outdoor Light Bulbs
While you have that petroleum jelly out, apply a thin layer to the threads of all your outdoor light bulbs. It will prevent them from rusting and make them much easier to replace when they blow out.
Skip the Rock Salt
Icy sidewalk? Throw cat litter down instead of rock salt. It won’t harm your grass, stain your clothes, or hurt the environment, but it will provide plenty of traction for safe walking and driving.
Stop Drafts Before They Start
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a well sealed home can be up to 20 percent more energy efficient. Most leaks occur in the basement or attic—look where you feel a draft or around wiring holes, plumbing vents, ducts, and basement rim joints. You’ll be able to seal lots of leaks with a simple caulking gun, but for instructions on how to plug larger holes, check out these tutorials from EnergyStar.gov.
Clean a Fireplace With Cola
Try an old masonry trick to brighten up soot-stained brick. Mix a can of cola with 3½ fluid ounces all-purpose household cleaner and 3 ½ quarts water in a bucket. Sponge onto sooty brick and leave for 15 minutes. Loosen the soot by scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush. Sponge with clean water. For a stronger solution, add more cola. For even more cleaning tips for all around your home, check out our eBook, Who Knew? Cleaning Made Easy, available in Kindle, Nook, and PDF formats.
What are your favorite tips of taking care of your home in the winter? Share them with us in the comments section below!