Homeowner Tips

Best time to clean gutters

As spring cleaning is on our minds I’m getting more questions about “When is the best time to clean my gutters?”  Chances are you may be asked as well as you’re out looking at houses with your clients.  Honestly, the best answer is probably “Whenever you have the motivation to do it safely.”

Late fall after all the deciduous leaves have dropped is a common (and valid) recommendation.  But around here we have pine and spruce needles that drop all winter, and I don’t have to tell you we get a lot of rain in the summer as well.  This makes cleaning one’s gutters as worthwhile in the spring as it is in the fall.

More important than when is that you do clean them once a year.  If debris builds up in gutter systems water can cause major problems for rot on fascia, rafter tails, and even siding.   There are a lot of systems for cleaning gutters, including one of the $300 gutter robots pictured here:

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My recommendation however is the $5 scoop below.  Life, and home maintenance, just doesn’t need to be that complicated!

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Turn, Turn, Turn

For everything there is a season.  If you pay a little attention to your ceiling fan however it can serve you well year around. 

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Now that colder weather is upon us you want the front or leading edge of your ceiling fan to be lower than the back.  This will push warm air that gathers at the ceiling back down to your living area.  In the summer warmer months of course you want it the other way around – leading edge higher than the back so you experience a bit of wind chill effect and are cooled by the air pushing down around you.

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Most modern fans have a reversing switch located on the hub or center housing.  Watch the fan closely as it starts up and you’ll quickly see which way it’s turning and if it’s not what you want push the switch to the other side and try again.

It’s that simple to stay just a bit warmer using a little less energy.  So now you can go play in the snow (if we get any more this winter).

Love’s Pure Light

There is a pretty song by that title, and this holiday season your front yard may look like it with all the holiday decorations.  So it’s a good time to remind you to be careful about overloading your electrical circuits.

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With all the modern safeguards in our electrical systems there is little danger of creating a fire, but there is a great danger of creating serious inconvenience inside your house.  Every electrical circuit can only carry a prescribed amount of amps before it will trip a breaker.  Everything might be working fine until the holiday meal when the microwave and the crockpot and electric oven AND that line of highly illuminated reindeer all come on at the same time. 

Most strings of lights and yard ornaments will show you how many amps they draw.  Looking at the breakers in that electrical panel in the garage will tell you the max for any given circuit.  A little thought as you are putting together your decorations can save a lot of hassle during the season.  Enjoy the holiday, and be well in the new year.