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Short and Sweet: 10 min Fixes for Your Home

By Your Advisor 1/28/16 9:28 AM Time to read:

Think 10-minute home fixes aren't possible? Think again. Here are a few home repair tips that'll save you time and money in the long run.

1. Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Exposure to carbon monoxide can reduce your body's ability to deliver oxygen to vital organs and tissues. That's why it's important to test and clean your carbon monoxide detectors every month. It's also important to replace their batteries every year. To check the efficiency of your carbon monoxide detector, remove the cover, and then find and press the "test" button for 5-10 seconds. The alarm should sound, but if it doesn't, change the batteries.

2. Inspect and Change Your Furnace Filter

If you feel like your furnace isn't running as efficiently as it should, it might be time to check your filter. A dirty filter can lead to the following problems:

  • Reduced air flow
  • Reduced energy efficiency
  • Complete furnace shut down from an overheated heat exchanger

We suggest inspecting your standard filter once a month. Before you check your filter, though, turn off your furnace and thermostat. Look for the filter compartment (see your owner's manual) and carefully remove the cover. Slide the filter out of its compartment and replace with a new one.

3. Level Your Air Conditioning Unit

Your air conditioning unit needs to be level for it to work properly. Every year, check your unit with a level. Make sure the bubble centers in the level. If it doesn't, adjust the feet of your unit (if possible) or use a thin piece of wood shim until your unit is level.

4. Reverse a Ceiling Fan for Changes in Season

During the winter, your ceiling fan should rotate clockwise and during the warmer weather, it should rotate counterclockwise. Turn your fan on to assess which direction your ceiling fan spins. If your blades are turning the wrong way, turn the fan off and use a stepladder to check the head of the fan. There should be a sliding switch on the head. Slide the switch to make sure the fan turns in the appropriate direction.

5. Troubleshoot a Broken Garage Door Opener

If your garage door's automatic opener isn't functioning, there's a solution. In your garage, find the garage door track, which is usually right above your garage door. Notice a brightly-colored handle (often red) dangling from a cord. Tug on the handle to disengage the opener and then manually pull up the door.

These are simple do-it-yourself fixes. If your equipment is still experiencing problems, call a professional to evaluate your equipment.