Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category
Being a homeowner is a job in itself. Homes require regular maintenance in order to properly function and provide the protection you need. Luckily, keeping a routine of regular maintenance can help ease the workload throughout the year. Here’s our helpful home maintenance checklist to help ensure you don’t miss a thing.
These are home improvements that can be done at any time of the year and should be done regularly to ensure they remain functioning properly. Be sure to check these things between every month and every few months.
- Check the furnace filter and replace if necessary. Replacing furnace filters that have dust build-up will help the furnace work more efficiently and improve heat and energy bills.
- Check to make sure that outdoor and indoor air vents are not blocked.
- Drain hot water from the water heater to flush out sediment build up.
- Grind up ice cubes in the garbage disposal, followed by hot water and baking soda to clean the garbage disposal.
- Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. Replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when necessary.
- Inspect tub and sink drains for clogs. Unclog them if necessary.
- Vacuum lint from dryer vent.
Seasonal Fall Maintenance
Fall is a great time to take on general home maintenance projects because of the moderate temperatures and dry weather. Start your home maintenance checklist by first inspecting the interior and exterior of your home, then, get started. Here are some things you can do to help prepare your home for the colder weather:
- Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts.
- Drain and insulate exterior plumbing before winter.
- Drain and store hoses along with in-ground sprinkler systems.
- Wrap insulation around outdoor faucets and pipes in unheated garages/basements.
- Rake leaves, aerate lawn, plant seeds. September and October are the best fall months to start growing new grass because it isn’t too hot or too cold out.
- Check masonry and mend cracks and gaps in the driveway and walkway.
- Check exterior door hardware and fix any squeaky handles or loose locks.
- Inspect roofing for missing, loose, or damaged shingles and for any leaks.
- Repair or replace exterior siding.
- Check fireplace for damage and clean the fireplace flues. Have a professional inspect your fireplace for hazards.
- Have a professional inspect heating systems.
- Vacuum refrigerator and freezer coils and empty and clean drip trays.Trim tree limbs. Damaged limbs, or limbs that are close to your home and could cause damage or is causing damage.
Seasonal Winter Maintenance
It’s important that you adequately prepare for the winter season. The last thing you want happening is a burst pipe or a heating unit that doesn’t work properly. Here’s a list of things you’ll want to check before the cold weather takes over:
- Cover your air conditioning unit.
- Protect your patio furniture by covering it or moving it to a covered space.
- Get a humidifier to improve your home’s air quality during the dry season.
- Reverse ceiling fans so that they circulate clockwise.
- Seal cracks and gaps in windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping.
- Check that air vents are not blocked.
- Stock up on salt and sand in case of severe weather and snow storms.
Seasonal Spring Maintenance
This is the perfect time to get your home back to looking its best. Hopefully by this time the weather has calmed down and you can get your home back in order. It’s time to welcome the warmer weather and prepare your home for the heat. Use this spring home maintenance checklist as a guide:
- Remove the cover you placed over your air conditioning unit and replace the filter.
- Again, you’ll want to check for any damaged, missing, or loose roof shingles and for leaks. The harsh winter weather can cause damage to the roof easily, so be sure to check this and have necessary repairs made promptly.
- Clean window and door screens.
- Remove insulation from outdoor faucets and exterior plumbing.
- Inspect sprinkler heads.
- Plant grass seed, fertilize and aerate your lawn. Spring is also a good time to get this done because the weather isn’t too hot or too cold.
- Clean out gutters and downspouts of debris and leaves.
- Polish wood furniture and dust light fixtures.
- Inspect your home’s windows and doors for caulking or weather stripping that may need to be replaced.
- Check air vents and make sure they are clear.
- Have a professional inspect the septic tank and perform any work that may be necessary.
- Check your chimney for damage.
Seasonal Summer Maintenance
You want to do as much maintenance as you can before summer really hits so you can make the most out of the hot weather and long days. Most of the necessary home improvement projects for the summer season can be done in the spring. Here’s some things you can tackle in the summer:
- Oil door hinges including garage door opener and chain.
- Clean your kitchen’s exhaust fan filter.
- Prune trees and shrubs.
- Replace faucet and shower heads for the interior and exterior if necessary.
- Check around the kitchen and bathrooms for any leaks.
- Seal tile grout.
- Protect your home against bugs and other pests.
Connect With Louie’s ACE Hardware
Louie’s Ace Hardware has all the tools you’ll need to complete any home improvement project you want to tackle. Our highly knowledgeable staff are happy to help you find the best tool to use in your DIY project, and can help guide you in the right direction to a successful home improvement job. Connect with us today, or view our products list!
Winter has come, but it’s never too late to pick up the essentials. Louie’s ACE Home Center has all of the tools, heaters, and more to get you through the season. Check out our list to see if you have all of the necessary winter home essentials!
Indoor & Outdoor Heating
Living in Reno, Nevada, you’re never really sure what the winter will bring. For the days where the temperature is below freezing and dumping snow, our vent-free stoves are the perfect addition to your home. They are easy to install and bring all of the beauty and warmth of a fireplace to your home without the maintenance.
For the warmer winter days (aka anything over 45 degrees), our outdoor fire pits are a must-have! You and your friends can gather around the fire pit, roast marshmallows, and enjoy the “warm” winter’s night.
Snow shovels are the go-to home essential during those winter storms. There are three types of snow shovels, and each of them has a specific function.
Plastic Shovels: Plastic snow shovels are an excellent choice if you are looking for something that is easy to use and lightweight. A common misconception about plastic snow shovels is that they’re flimsy, but in actuality, they are able to hold and dispose of snow better than a metal snow shovel. Because plastic shovels can become worn down over time (depending on how much it snows in your area), it is recommended that you don’t use this shovel to scrape ice.
Steel Shovels: If you are looking for a shovel that will last you through several winters, a steel snow shovel is the way to go. They are optimal for scraping both the ice and snow from your driveway and pathway. However, because they are made of steel, these shovels are heavier and require more energy to operate than a plastic or aluminum shovel.
Aluminum Shovels: Aluminum snow shovels are a happy medium between plastic and steel shovels. While they are more durable than plastic shovels and much lighter than steel shovels, they tend to bend easily. When you are shoveling your driveway or scraping away at the ice, make sure that you aren’t putting in too much force to prevent bending your shovel.
With the temperatures dropping lower and lower, it is time to think about purchasing a standby or a portable generator for your home. Here are a few reasons why you should invest in a generator:
Backup Heater: Nothing is worse than your thermostat deciding to bite the bullet just as the cold weather begins to set in. In this situation, you have the ability to call your local repair service and have them send someone over to fix it. But when you are left without power, a huge concern is how you’re going to keep your family and yourself warm. These are the times when owning a backup generator comes in handy.
Keep Appliances Running: In the event of a power outage, you want to ensure that all of your appliances, primarily your refrigerator, keep running. Purchasing a generator will not only supply power to your home appliances, but also supply power to your home security system, computers, cell phones, and more.
Connect with Louie’s ACE Home Center Today!
Winter is in full swing here in Nevada, and we at Louie’s ACE Home Center want to make sure that the residents of Reno are fully prepared for the chilly season. Come on in and grab your winter home essentials!
Winter home maintenance plays a very important role in the protection of your home. With the cold weather that winter brings, comes harsh conditions that can be tough on your house. One of the most difficult things to deal with during the cold months of the year are frozen pipes. Here is a brief guide for protecting your home from the detrimental damages that come from frozen pipes.
How do I prevent pipes from freezing?
The most effective way to prevent your pipes from freezing is to wrap them with foam insulation. It is a good idea to wrap all of the pipes in your home to ensure protection. However, the most important pipes are those that are 6 inches or less from outside walls or are run through areas of the house that are not heated. Make sure that the insulation is wrapped tightly around the pipes to keep out the cold. Also, ensure that the joints are wrapped and taped to ensure protection.
What do I do if the pipes freeze?
If your pipes freeze, you need to try to thaw them as soon as possible. While it is important to unfreeze them quickly, you need to be strategic so the pipes don’t burst. Thawing an area of the pipe too quickly can cause it to burst.
The first step is to open the taps to the frozen lines and turn up the heat in your house. If the pipe is in a room that is not heated, a space heater can be very useful. Then, you will want to start thawing the pipe in sections, starting closest to the faucet. A blow dryer can be the perfect tool for this, it’s just enough heat to thaw the pipe and not too much.
What do I do about a burst pipe?
Shut off the water to your house immediately. If you don’t know where it’s at, I would recommend that you go find it now. Generally, the main water valve is located near a water meter. This is the main source of water into your home and if it is shut off quickly, the damages from a burst pipe will be minimized.
Louie’s ACE Home Center Can Help
Louie’s ACE always has a stock of winter home maintenance supplies and experts to answer your questions. Protect your home this winter and give us a call!
With winter upon us, our homes are much colder and our electricity bills are skyrocketing. Turning up the heater is the first thing we do as soon as we feel the cold, but there are other alternatives. If you invest in the appropriate window coverings, you won’t have to run the heater as often and will save a bunch of money. Although, purchasing blinds can require a large upfront payment, you are making an investment in your home and it will pay off.
Does It Really Work?
Of course it does! Windows are the greatest source of cold into and warmth out of your house. It has been said that windows account for 40% of heat loss in homes. You spend all this money on a heater, just to lose almost half of it to the outside. Installing blinds wouldn’t allow this loss to occur. If you are able to trap a layer of air in between blinds and the window, the heat won’t be able to escape and cold won’t be able to enter.
How to Make the Most of Your Blinds
Making the most of the newest addition to your home is actually quite simple. The best way to control the temperature in your home without touching the thermostat is to time the opening and closing of your blinds. During the day, you are going to want to open the blinds to let in all the sunlight and warmth. However, when dusk falls, close the blinds to keep the natural heat inside and the cold out.
The Right Window Coverings For You
Because every home and customer is different, there is not a one-size-fits-all window covering. The perfect window covering for you depends on the style you are looking for, the size of your windows, and the cold protection you desire. Louie’s Ace Hardware offers a wide variety of mini-blinds and basic rollers to fit any need. In addition, at Louie’s, you are able to special order products from Hunter Douglas. Whatever your style, we have you covered!
For other home projects, we also offer ACE hardware rentals if needed. Contact us today!
The Reno Tahoe area has had one of the most extreme winters that we have had in years. With a flurry of winter storms, it has become even more important to winterize your car and prepare for emergencies. If you end up stuck in a storm, slid off the road, or in an accident, you may end up stranded in severe temperatures. In these situations, it’s important to prepare beforehand with the proper emergency car kit.
At Louie’s Ace Hardware, we carry all the essentials that you need to create an emergency kit for your car. Here’s the items we recommend carrying for winter safety in case you get stuck in a blizzard.
Basic Car Safety Kit:
This is the basic kit that we recommend having in your car year-round. These essentials also serve in cold weather too. If you need to replenish your safety kit, it’s a good idea to do this before heading out into any kind of severe weather.
Good first aid kit
Basic car tool kit
Good pair of jumper cables
Cold Weather Bag for Winter Emergencies:
In addition to your basics, we also recommend having a cold weather bag, specifically stocked with emergency items needed in a blizzard. Here’s some items that you should keep in your vehicle this winter:
Water (take fresh water into car that isn’t frozen during each trip)
Battery charger for phone
Rescue tool (with seatbelt cutter to easily escape car)
Repair manual (keep this in your car always)
Tarp/fire Starter kit (if you need to leave the car)
Duct tape (this can be used for many purposes)
Emergency Items for Your Glove Box:
In the case of an emergency, you may not be able to access all areas of your car. Keeping your glove box stocked with safety items can give you quicker access to a few basics.
Contact book with phone numbers
Mini first aid kid
Plastic bags/wipes (for sanitation)
Winter Clothing for Your Car:
In case you must exit your car or walk to get help, it’s important to have proper winter clothing and layers that can keep you warm in freezing temperatures.
We hope this check-list helps you prepare for winter storms. Stop by Louie’s for all your winterizing needs. We’d love to help you put together your next emergency kit and choose the right items for your vehicle.
After the summer fun is done and the last camping day of fall has passed, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your RV. Winterizing your RV may seem like a daunting task. But at Louie’s Ace Home Center, we have everything you need to get the job done. If you are staying in your RV, you are going to want to keep your water lines functional. Be sure to wrap your lines with foil and open your faucets slightly if you are planning to stay in the RV. If you are storing it, follow these simple steps to winterize your RV.
- Mind the water lines: You will need to drain and dry your water lines before storage. How do you do this? First, open the “petcock” and allow everything to drain except the water heater. What’s the petcock? The petcock is a small valve used for draining. It’s usually located by the water tank.
- Drain the holding tanks and open the faucets: Flush both tanks simultaneously. Some RVs come with a built-in tank system. If yours doesn’t, clean your tanks with a wand. Take the refuse to a dump station. Toilet, shower, sinks, open them all to winterize your RV. Flush the toilet until you are sure all the water has emptied out.
- Blow out the lines and seal them up: Purchase a compressed air adapter or blowout plug. Attach it to the water intake fitting and use a standard air compressor (like the ones you use to inflate the tires on your car) to blow out your water lines. This gets rid of excess water and prevents the dilution of your anti-freeze. Do this at a maximum of 50 psi. Replace your caps, close the faucets, and close the petcock. As a reminder, the petcock is the valve you opened to drain your water in the first place.
- Detach the compressor and add anti-freeze to your lines: Make sure to detach the air compressor. This is an important step! You can add pink RV antifreeze from the inside with a hand pump from outside. You can also choose whether or not you want to use a bypass (note: bypasses require more anti-freeze). Do not drain the water heater before you have added your anti-freeze. You will use 2 to 3 gallons of anti-freeze. If you can’t bypass your water heater, you will need 6 to 10 gallons. After the anti-freeze is in, turn on your fresh water pump and let it run. This video demonstrates this process thoroughly.
- Turn on your faucets: Turn on the faucets and test the systems until they run pink. That’s how you know the anti-freeze has filled up your lines.
- Don’t forget about other appliances or to re-connect your lines: Toilets, washing machines, icemakers, and showers need anti-freeze too. Make sure they have anti-freeze to winterize an RV. You will drain your water heater last. Take it out of the anti-freeze jug and reconnect it to the fresh water tank.
To fully winterize your RV, be sure to remove any perishables, laundry, trash, and valuable items. Fix anything that is broken as it will make it easier to use the RV when its time. Cover all your vents and holes so pests don’t see your winterized RV as a place to get warm. Cover your RV with an RV cover, and don’t forget your tires, too. Some people lift their RVs to take the pressure off the tires as well.