4 Seasons of Home Ownership: Winter

Allen Lyle and Danny Lipford with homeowners Laura and Stephen Cooper.
Allen Lyle and Danny Lipford with homeowners Laura and Stephen Cooper.

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Almost a year ago we launched our 4 Seasons of Home Ownership initiative. We’ve used projects on the show, plus articles, videos and other resources on our website, to help homeowners manage the chores they need to tackle at the beginning of each season.

To roll out our winter list of chores we traveled to Carmel, Indiana. This cool suburban town just outside Indianapolis is home to the Coopers: Stephen, Laura and Joel. For this young family, getting ready for winter just got easier.

Allen Lyle shows Laura Cooper how to clean the microwave filters.
Allen Lyle shows Laura Cooper how to clean the microwave filters.

Changing and Cleaning Filters

The first item on all of our seasonal checklists is changing the air filter, so that’s where we started in the Coopers’ home. It’s important to replace the air filter on your central heating/cooling system every one to three months to keep the system operating efficiently. Watch Changing the Air Filter in Your Home for more info.

Then we changed the filters in the refrigerator for the water dispenser and icemaker. While some models may require a visit from the plumber, most water filters are a snap to install and replace the filter. They’re easy to use and available to fit any budget or lifestyle. Check out Water Filters for Your Home for details on the different types of water filtration systems.

We also cleaned and changed the filters in the their over-the-range microwave. As with range hood filters, it’s important to clean microwave filters periodically to remove grease and grime that can make the fan less effective and shorten the fan’s life. Metal filters can be cleaned with hot water, dish detergent and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Charcoal filters, such as the one in the upper vent of the Coopers’ microwave, can’t be cleaned and should be replaced every three to four months. Watch Range Hood Filter Cleaning Tips for details.

Pipes wrapped in foam
Wrap exposed pipes with foam to protect them from freezing.

Preparing for Cold Weather

Several items on the winter checklist are designed to prepare your home for the harsh weather ahead. We headed down to the basement to wrap the exposed water pipes with foam pipe insulation. Watch How to Insulate Water Pipes to Prevent from Freezing for more tips.

We also added insulation to Stephen and Laura’s crawl space. The insulation we used is stone wool from Roxul, and its big advantage is that it’s resistant to both water and fire. We put it in place with flexible steel wire supports, so it will be there from now on. Watch How Much Attic Insulation Do You Need? to determine whether your home has adequate insulation.

For more winterization tips, check out How to Winterize Your Home.

Danny Lipford and Laura Cooper apply revitalizer to the hardwood floor.

Revitalizing Hardwood Floor

To revitalize the hardwood floor, we started by moving out the furniture and giving the floor a good cleaning. Then we applied the revitalizer and spread it smoothly and evenly.

Most pre-finished wood floors like this one are sealed with polyurethane, and the polymers in the revitalizer will fill in the small scratches and cover the floor with a thin protective coating.

Watch How to Revitalize Hardwood Floor for details.

Boy with pretend tools
Two-year-old Joel was eager to help with the home improvement chores.

Other Tips from This Episode


Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Tip for Cleaning Pet Hair Off Upholstered Furniture

Use disposable rubber gloves to wipe pet fur off upholstered furniture. Watch the video.


Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Glidden Diamond Paint

High-quality paint usually comes with a high price tag. Glidden’s Diamond Paint offers exceptional washability, durability and affordability. It is available at The Home Depot. Watch the video.


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