8 Early Winter Fast Fixes

Keep Compost Going

Don’t forget to fuel your pile with carbon-rich browns, such as shredded newspaper, as well as nitrogen-rich greens, such as kitchen scraps.

Turn on the Air Conditioner

Just for a few minutes! Running the system every other month keeps internal parts lubricated.

Adjust TV Settings

New flat-screen? Switch off the energy-draining, ultra-bright “demo” mode, meant to attract attention in stores.

Pack Up Holiday Decor

To avoid tangles, wind string lights around an empty wrapping-paper tube; to save floor space, stow rolls of gift wrap in a garment bag.

Help Out Evergreens

After heavy snowfall, use a broom to lightly brush snow off any slight branches to relieve them of the extra weight.

Examine Fire Extinguishers

House fires peak in the winter, so store a working extinguisher on each floor with a minimum rating of 2-A:10-B:C, which can cover 10 square feet.

Look for Air Leaks

Air leaks in your home can affect energy bills in the water (not to mention your comfort). They can be hard to spot, so try this trick: Turn off the fans and furnace, and make sure windows are tightly closed. Then carry lit incense with your as you slowly walk by the windows and exterior doors. If the smoke starts changing direction, you’ve probably got a leak.

Strengthen Mailboxes

When snowplow push by, post-mounted mailboxes can take an undeserved beating. Give your mailbox a checkup for wobbly or out-of-plumb parts and make necessary repairs before they get buried in snow. Also make sure any attached house numbers are secure and easy to read, then add reflective tape for extra visibility.

For more Ideas in winter upkeep, visit This Old House.