If there are two things today’s homeowners wish they had more of, it’s time and money. In our busy daily lives, there’s often a little-to-no time for deep cleaning or home improvements. In the spare minutes you do have, you want to get the cleaning done as quickly as possible so you have more time to do what you want to do, whether that’s reading a good book or spending time with your kids.
In this article, we’ll review several of our best home repair tricks and how they help homeowners save money and hassle. From better ways to clean to the savings of energy-efficiency improvements, here’s what you need to know to get started.
Improve the energy-efficiency of your home
Every homeowner loves saving money. After all, in a tightly run household budget, every dollar and cent counts. However, there’s one area where you’re probably wasting hundreds of dollars every year without knowing it: your heating and cooling. An inefficient home can drive your energy bills through the roof, making your summers and winters that much more expensive.
Here’s the good news: you can make your home more efficient. Start with the simple things. Using a caulking gun, seal around your window frames to ensure there’s an airtight seal. Add weatherstripping around your front and back doors to keep out drafts and avoid cooling and heating waste. If you’re ready for a more advanced step, get up into your attic and measure your current insulation. Should your attic need more, it’s time to call an HVAC professional and have them install it.
The amount (or depth) of attic insulation needed depends on where you live. Homes in sunny and warm Florida need less insulation than those in Maine. In that same vein, if you’re looking for HVAC services in Gary, Indiana, you’re going to need to operate under the assumption that additional insulation might be needed. On the coldest of winter nights, attic insulation helps prevent heat from rising right out of your home.
Clean with kitchen staples
It’s time to clean smarter, not harder. As it turns out, you don’t need hundreds of dollars in pricey cleaning products to deep clean your kitchen, bathroom, and home. You just need a few common pantry items—lemons, vinegar, baking soda, and kosher salt. Let’s get cleaning.
Sharpen the blades of your disposal
As your in-sink garbage disposal gets older, its blades start to dull and it cuts through food waste more slowly. This can lead to more clogs and food getting trapped in the disposal, which, in turn, leads to foul odors. Here’s how you can deal with both dull blades and foul odors at the same time.
With the water and disposal running, pour a cup of ice cubes and a teaspoon of salt down the drain. You’ll hear the blades cutting through the ice and salt crystals. This helps to sharpen up the blades. Go ahead and repeat this process a few times. Then, cut a lemon into small pieces. Feed them, too, into the running disposal. The acidity of the lemon juice will help kill off odor-causing bacteria, while the oil in the peel should give your sink a distinctively fresh scent.
Get rid of clogs
If your kitchen or bathroom sink does clog, try this time-tested method before you call in a plumber. Start by pouring some boiling water down the drain. This heat should loosen up any blockage. Then, pour equal parts baking soda and vinegar down it.
As these two combine, their chemical reaction should help to “eat” through the remaining clog. After that, it’s typically easier to use a plunger to clear the clog. If not, go ahead and repeat the process. Or, if you’re getting the sense that the clog isn’t going anywhere, call in a plumber. Some clogs are just too much for a DIY approach!
Start thinking outside the box
There’s no end to the inventiveness of homeowners. From using old toothbrushes to clean grout lines to the many household uses for correction fluid, there’s so much you can do with less. This kind of outside-the-box thinking can save you money, help you avoid a trip to the store, and keep your home looking great!
For an in-depth look at the home repair tricks mentioned above – as well as a few others – check out this infographic.