Show Notes: Genius Fall Tips
Fall is almost gone!
It’s already November!
So for your genius fall problems, we’ve got some genius fall tips to fix ’em!
Tune in to the show notes below to figure them out!
Missed our live show? Don’t worry! Because we have a podcast of the show. It’s the same thing we aired on the radio, but ready for you whenever and wherever you are! Check it out here.
More Genius Quick Tips for Fall
Got Moving Pictures
Keep Pictures Level
A pinch of mounting putty (that sticky stuff used to hang posters) prevents picture tilt without harming walls.
Hate That Remote On The Table
Adhesive-backed hook-and-loop strips let you stick remote controls under an end table. They’ll always be handy when you’re ready to watch TV but won’t clutter up tabletops.
No More Lost Socks
Stop Losing Socks
Stuff a strip of foam pipe insulation into the space between your washer and dryer or along the wall. That way, socks can’t slip into the abyss.
Stay Off The Ladder
Time to clean the gutters? You don’t need a ladder to find out. Attach a hand mirror to the end of a PVC pipe. Cut the pipe at a 60-degree angle so the mirror reflects an inside view of the gutter.
No Room For Sawhorses?
I use cardboard appliance boxes as collapsible sawhorses. They’re lightweight and plenty strong for many tasks. They hold heavy work pieces like doors without wobbling and fold up flat in seconds. You can cut them to a comfortable working height with a utility knife.
No Help To Move The Furniture?
Milk Jug Furniture Movers
When you have to move heavy furniture on carpeting, don’t just drag it around. That’s hard on carpet and you might damage the furniture legs. Make the job easier with these homemade moving pads. Cut the bottoms off four plastic water or milk jugs with a utility knife and rest each furniture leg on its own slider. The rounded, slippery bottoms make them perfect for furniture moving. Yes, you can buy fancier versions of these things—for 15 bucks or more! But these work just as well, and best of all, they’re free!
Another Genius Fall Tip? Prepare for winter ahead of time!
7-Minute Solution: Get Your Fireplace Ready for Winter
- Spread newspaper on the floor. Line the area around your fireplace. Take out the grate or glass front and the hearth and set them on the paper to avoid griming up your rug or floor.
- Dispose of leftover ash. Scoop it out with the shovel from your fireplace set. If you’ve used the fireplace recently, dump the ash in a fireproof container.Vacuum up remaining particles.
- Scrub, then polish. Using fine-mesh steel wool and a bucket of warm, soapy water, scour the grate, glass, and andirons. Apply a metal polish with a soft cloth to the tools and grate.
- Clean the flue. Line the fireplace floor with several layers of newspaper and put a plastic garbage bag nearby. Wash the flue’s walls with a wire brush, removing the ashy layers as you go.
- Get rid of creosote. That black, sooty buildup on the walls of your fireplace can be banished with a specially formulated spray or powder. You can find the product at HomeSafetyProducts.biz, Bizrate.com and ChimneySaver.com.
- Call your chimney sweep and set up an appointment. It is important to make sure venting is working properly to avoid fires and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
We’re Going on the Road to Louisville KY for Remodeling Show/Deck Expo
Sponsored by EnerBank
Getting Ready for the Holidays? 3 Reasons to Get Your Appliances Ready Too
It’s October which means that you and your appliances will soon be working overtime. Is your refrigerator in tip-top shape for all those extra shopping items your family recipes require? Is your stove ready for the long hours it takes to cook those holiday meals? Is your dishwasher ready for round-the-clock usage as those family members arrive from out-of-town?
House Fires Increase During Holidays
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, residential fires are two times more likely between October and December holidays than any other period. The USAF also reports that fatalities are 70% higher and property loss is 34% more than non-holidays.
Things You Can Do:
Always remove food spills after each stove use to prevent hard-to-clean stains. Do a full stove top and oven cleaning with either a self-clean method or oven cleaner before the holidays to ensure there is no food or grease build-up. This will optimize heavy usage.
Have a technician check electric coils or gas pilots to ensure proper usage and presence of fire hazards. Techs also check sensors and hardware for repair or replacement needs.
Food Spoils In As Little As Four Hours Without Power
According to foodsafety.gov, you need to discard certain refrigerated foods like meat, cheese, dairy, eggs, opened condiments, leftovers, and desserts after only four hours after the loss of power. While the average family spends about $180 a week for groceries, the amount of lost food purchased for a major holiday could well double the average cost.
Things You Can Do:
It is the perfect time to do a seasonal cleaning and dispose of outdated items. You can also replace your water filter and remove dust and debris from the refrigerator coils.
Have a technician service your refrigerators by checking the thermostat, sensors, condenser, evaporator drains, pans, fan motor, hinges, coils, door gaskets, and alignment.
- Dish Duty Is The Number One Reason Couples Argue About Chores
According to data cited by The Atlantic, couples share chores but hate doing the dishes which is the most notable reason why they argue about household tasks. Now add the stress of Thanksgiving or Christmas and imagine your dishwasher breaks. The holidays are already stressful, so do your relationship a good deed and have the appliance serviced.
Things You Can Do:
Clean the filters. Run a cycle with a cup of vinegar to clean debris and calcium deposits.
Have your dishwasher serviced to check the valves, seals, filters, hoses, gaskets, dispenser, float assembly, and leaky connections to the water supply. It extends usage.
Warming Cold House Solutions
Electric Toe-Kick Heaters
These small heaters with blowers fit into the hollow space under kitchen cabinets, stair treads and vanities. This can be a good solution for a bathroom or kitchen where chilly feet are the main complaint. You can install a toe-kick heater (also called a ‘kick space heater’) under an existing cabinet by prying off the toe-kick. To power the heater, you’ll need to run a dedicated circuit from your main electrical panel. You can control most units using a switch or a thermostat. It’s worth getting a model with a temperature control (or a high/low switch). Powerful units can blow so hot on the high setting that they could overheat your feet or even soften vinyl flooring. Also, some models are noisy when the blower operates on high. Hydronic toe-kick heaters that connect to hot water heating systems are also available.
If you have forced-air heat, you can take advantage of several types of duct booster fans that are designed to increase the flow of warm (or cool) air through your ducts into a problem room. In-line duct booster fans fit inside standard-size metal ducts. You mount the blower near the outlet end of a duct and then install a pressure switch (some models have one built in), which senses air pressure from the furnace and turns on the booster fan whenever the furnace or A/C blower turns on. Some in-line duct boosters simply plug into an available outlet, while other models are hard-wired. Cheaper units can be noisy, so it’s worth buying a quality model with a powerful motor and heavier gauge housing. In-line duct booster fans retail for $30 to $150.
A ‘register’ booster fan is much easier to install. Depending on the model, it either sits on top of or replaces a floor or wall register grille, and plugs into an outlet. A built-in thermostat switches on when the furnace operates. Register duct boosters cost $40 to $70. Many different manufacturers make duct booster fans of both types. Search online for ‘in-line duct booster fan’ or ‘register duct booster fan’ to find manufacturers and dealers.
Electric Floor Heat
This can be a great choice for a small-scale retrofit project like heating a mudroom or kitchen, or warming up a cold bathroom. Under-tile radiant systems are still the most common, but many companies offer systems that work equally well beneath laminate, carpet and engineered floors. There are two basic types of systems: ‘loose wires’ that you run across the floor and ‘mat’ systems, with the wires prearranged inside a mesh or fabric mat.
Laying the floor cable is a budget-friendly project. Adding electric radiant floor heat for a typical bathroom when you install a new floor adds about $200 to $300 to the cost of the project. The electrical connections require only basic wiring know-how. Since these systems generally draw only 10 to 15 watts per square foot, you can usually connect them to an existing circuit to heat a typical bathroom.
Radiant Ceiling Panels
Like cove heaters, radiant ceiling panels heat the occupants of a room from above. These inch-thick panels mount on the ceiling and can be an energy efficient option in a room where you want to ‘spot heat’ people in a specific area. The panels heat to 150 degrees F within five minutes of being switched on, and they cool down just as quickly. If you mount one directly above a worktable or a desk, you can work comfortably without having to heat the entire room and get heat when and where you want it.
The panels range from 1 x 2 ft. to 4 x 8 ft., and you can screw them directly to the ceiling or install them in a suspended ceiling grid. Installing a small panel is similar to installing a fluorescent light fixture. You can connect the panel, along with a thermostat, to a standard junction box, and you can power a single panel from an existing circuit. Larger panels require separate 120- or 240-volt circuits. The panels are textured and some can be painted. Panels designed specifically for bathrooms include a built-in exhaust fan, light and night-light. The panels cost from $200 to $500 depending on the size.
Ceiling Fan Heater
The Reiker Room Conditioner installs just like a regular ceiling fan and provides fast, even heat over a large area. This combination light, ceiling fan and space heater pumps out warm air through the ceiling-mounted heater, and the fan blades circulate it throughout the room. During the summer, the unit functions as a conventional ceiling fan.
It’s available in manual and remote control units, and can be wired to an existing circuit. The unit is available in a variety of finishes. Manual models cost $269, and remote-controlled units cost $339 to $369, depending on the finish.
Safest Cities in California
SafeWise is happy to release our fifth annual Safest Cities report. Here are the 50 Safest Cities in California for 2019.
Overall 86% of this year’s safest cities are on the list for the second consecutive year. And Northern California gained one more city this year, to claim 40% of the state’s safest cities—plus the number one city, Danville, is from the north. But Southern California continues to dominate, with 30 of its cities making the list.
12th Annual REI Ridge Trail Service Day | Bay Area
Volunteers will repair trail tread, build drainage features, remove litter, improve trailside habitats and give the Ridge Trail some TLC. After their hard work, volunteers will be able to socialize and have a chance to win great prizes from REI Co-op
TO REGISTER: https://ridgetrail.org/rtd2019/#registration
OR CALL REI 415 561-2595
7 Things You Should Never Do With a Magic Eraser
Magic Erasers (also generically known as melamine foam) are kind of amazing. Not only can they clean everything from grout to oven doors to tennis shoes, when purchased by the 8-pack, these sponge-shaped pads usually break down to about a $1 a pop. They are designed for cleaning hard-to-scrub surfaces in hard-to-reach places.
Unfortunately, however, sometimes these one-handed wonders can work a little too well—particularly on polished and easily scratched areas. So before you get carried away cleaning your place with a melamine foam, read ahead for seven things you definitely don’t want to ever do with them.
- Don’t use them dry
Part of the magic of these erasers is that all you have to do is add water to activate them. However, it turns out that these plushy pads are even more abrasive—and can therefore, do more damage—when dry, so adding water actually helps soften them.
- Don’t use them to polish your car (or any delicately painted surface)
Don’t let the soft texture of the foam fool you; once it gets wet, it has the abrasiveness of 3000 grit sandpaper. That’s why it’s important to avoid using them on finely painted surfaces, like your car, or else you’ll end up with a way worse problem than bird poop.
- Don’t use them without gloves
Considering the fact that melamine foam pads can tackle anything from scruffs on walls to stovetops, it’s no surprise that these petite powerhouses can also burn your skin. Make sure to always wear a pair of gloves while using your magic eraser and never ever use it directly on your skin.
- Don’t use them to clean delicate countertops
Forget the fact that these spongy pads feel plush; they’re actually insanely abrasive. That’s why you should avoid using it on granite and marble counters (and any other fine stone surfaces) or else you’ll run the risk of removing the sealant and making the surface appear dull.
- Don’t use them to wipe down nonstick pots and pans
If you thought they could be used exactly like a dish sponge, then think again. Employing these heavy duty cleaners to wipe down nonstick pots and pans will only scratch their surface—and release pesky chemicals from the coating into your food instead.
- Don’t try to brighten stainless steel
Unless you privy yourself a “gentle wiper,” it’s probably best to avoid using your the pad on any stainless steel surfaces throughout your home. Too much scrubbing can cause the high gloss finish that seals most stainless stainless steel appliances to break down, resulting in a dulled and sometimes scratched patina.
7. Don’t use them on anything without spot testing first
This one may seem like a no brainer but when in doubt about whether your melamine foam pad is safe to use, simply do a spot test. Just as you should with any new cleaning product, test a small area with the eraser before using it on an entire surface.
~ Thank you~
A very special thank you to all of our callers! We live to answer your questions, so keep them coming!
Thank you to our Technical Support:
- Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer
- Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey – Executive Producer
- Sam Reed – Associate Producer
- Rico Figliolini – Digital Master
Thank you for tuning in for some Genius Fall Tips! And check in next week for more cool tips!
“Genius Fall Tips” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired November 2, 2019.