Good to Know

Avoiding Frozen Pipes This Winter

Here in Georgia, we think we’re isolated from some of the biggest inconveniences of winter. But anyone who’s been in Atlanta during some of the major snow and ice storms in the last ten years knows we can’t always take the weather in the south for granted. Even when a big snowstorm isn’t on the horizon, freezing temperatures can create big problems for homeowners. What should you do to avoid frozen pipes this winter? Here are some of the myths and the truth.  My Pipes Won’t Freeze Unless Temperatures are Below Zero It doesn’t have to be days of below …

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Holiday Home Safety Checklist

The holidays are a time of celebration. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments in the U.S. responded to 160 home fires caused by Christmas trees between 2014 and 2018 during the holidays. These fires led to an average of two deaths, fourteen injuries, and around $10 million in property damage. Trees aren’t the only cause of household fires or other accidents during the holiday season, so it’s best to create a holiday home safety checklist to ensure your family and house are safe this season. Here are some of the most common hazards and how to avoid them.  …

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Making Your Home Winter-Ready

In Atlanta, we’re lucky to have good weather most of the time. But when winter sets in, we need to be prepared. Making your home work to maximum efficiency could save lots of money over this winter and beyond.  Furnace: Have the furnace professionally tuned, and perhaps have the ducts cleaned. A/C: Some people turn their air conditioner off for the winter, making sure the outdoor pipes are insulation-wrapped, and a cover is put over the outdoor unit. Fireplace: Have the fireplace checked before using it each year, so it won’t start a house fire. To avoid chimney drafts, install …

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Recycling Your Holiday Pumpkins

After Halloween, what can you do with your pumpkins? If you have a whole pumpkin, scoop it out, bake the seeds and puree the fruit to be used for pumpkin pie. It’s high in vitamins and minerals. A recommended easy way to make puree is to cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy parts, place the halves face down on a baking tray and add a cup of water to the tray. Then bake it for about 90 minutes to cook the pumpkin. Scoop out the pumpkin pulp and puree it in a blender.  You can …

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Leaf Cleanup In Less Time

The magnificent gold and red show of autumn leaves unfortunately becomes the biggest of autumn chores a few weeks later. It’s like cleaning up after a party. So how can you make it an easier task and find fun in it, too? It’s important to remove leaves to keep the grass from being smothered, and to keep from giving  wildlife, including snakes, comfortable camouflage for nesting. The first thing to remember is that no matter how much you rake, leaves are going to keep falling until the trees are almost bare, so you might as well wait. In the meantime, …

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How Long Should A Major Appliance Last?

Consumer Reports surveyed “tens of thousands” of subscribers regarding more than 20 brands of major appliances in 2019. Almost consistently across the board, the answer was 10 years’ life expectancy for a major household appliance. Expect a microwave oven to last for 9 years.  A Family Handyman 2022 survey was less optimistic, showing that microwaves last 6 years, washers, dishwashers and refrigerators hold on for approximately 7 years, a dryer can withstand 7-12 years, and a range (stove) will do well for 10-15 years.  Go for that extended warranty, Consumer Reports recommends. Forty percent of refrigerators can start having problems …

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It’s Pumpkin Spice and Fall Lawn Prep Time

With the change of seasons comes a change in care if you want to get the best out of your lawn.  During the summer, your maintenance has been based on suppressing weeds and watering to keep it from burning. As the seasons shift, it’s time to prepare your lawn for winter this month. A rule of thumb has been to winterize four to six weeks before the first frost. For Atlanta, that’s usually the first of November, so September is the perfect time to get started. Aerate: Do that now and perhaps twice more throughout the winter to keep the …

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Freshen Your Home Naturally

If visitors drop by and their first comment is, “Oh, you have cats,” it’s time for a room freshener.  During the holidays, we scent our homes with spices and evergreen to add another layer of enjoyment to the festivities. But what about the rest of the year?  There are ways to enliven your home and combat odors with natural ingredients year-round. Make your own flower, powder or spice sachets using ingenious suggestions that range from something as simple as an envelope, to cute little forget-me-not gifts, to be used in small rooms, closets or drawers to make the air smell …

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Make a Special Homework Space

When it comes to kids doing their homework, two conflicting issues need to be addressed. They need a place to be quiet so they can concentrate, yet they need to be close enough to you in case they need assistance.  The child’s bedroom is not the best choice because it’s better to associate the bedroom with relaxation only. The kitchen table isn’t the ideal spot, either, because the area is too distracting with afternoon activity.  The best place for concentrating on homework would be a corner area specifically dedicated to it, perhaps nearby in a den or family room, or …

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Ways to Beat Atlanta’s Heat 

If you’re the type who loves pumpkin-spice season, you might want it in ice cream form this year. Weather forecasts say we can expect temperatures to remain high throughout the fall, along with tropical storms. It’s time to take a lesson from places like Charleston and Savannah on how to beat muggy heat. Foremost, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Sip throughout the day. Add mint or fruit infusions for a more summery treat. Wear loose-fitting clothing. Long sleeves, pants and dresses in breathable fabrics protect skin from direct sun to keep you cooler. Light colors reflect the sun’s …

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