13 DIY Pro Tips

13 Vital Home Maintenance Tasks & Savings Tips for DIY and Saving Money

Posted by Jason Henderson
Updated: October 24, 2019 in DIY Tips

So the weather is cooling down after one of the hottest summers on record. The changing temperatures can put stress on your home & garden, as well as your bills.

Here are 13 things to do immediately that will reduce the various costs of your home over the long haul. You can read about them and click any of the links provided for more information.

1. Winterize Your Home (Sprinklers)

Winterizing your sprinklers as the weathers cool down can save you a lot of money – you don't want to risk cracked or damaged plumbing – and the best part is it only takes less than a few minutes to do.

Shut off the water supply to the lawn irrigation systems before the thermometer hits freezing temperatures. The main shut-off valve for your sprinkler system needs to be protected. Make sure it is wrapped with insulation, packed in pine straw or somehow sheltered from subzero temps.

If you do not have a main shut-off valve, consider it a preventative investment and arrange to have one installed to avoid an expensive lawn sprinkler system repair.

2. Pay Your Mortgage On Time? Utilize the FEDS Recent Rate Cuts for Refi

This Program Expires October 2019 (This Month), Time Is Running Out To Take Advantage!

Still unknown to many is a brilliant Government Program called the Enhanced Relief Refinance Program (E.R.R.) that could benefit millions of Americans and reduce their payments by as much as $3,252 per year! You could bet the banks aren't too thrilled about losing all that profit and might secretly hope homeowners don't find out before time runs out. 

URGENT: So many homeowners could still benefit today, but sadly, many do not realize that it ends in a matter of days. Remember, E.R.R. is a free program and there's absolutely NO COST to see if you qualify and this can save you $271 every month on your mortgage bills.  See if you qualify now before it's gone in a matter of days »

So while the banks happily wait for this program to end, the Government is making a final push and urging homeowners to take advantage. This program is currently active but could be shut down at any given time in 2019. But the good news is that once you're in, you're in. If lowering your payments, paying off your mortgage faster, and even taking some cash out would help you, it's vital you act now and see if you could qualify for E.R.R. or a better rate in today's marketplace.

URGENT: So many homeowners could still benefit today, but sadly, many perceive E.R.R. to be too good to be true. Remember, E.R.R. is a free program and there's absolutely NO COST to see if you qualify and this can save you $271 every month on your mortgage bills. See if you qualify now before it's gone >>

How do I qualify?

Step 1: Click your state on the map to instantly check your eligibility for free.

Step 2: View your new lower rate and save money! Click here to see your new low rate.

3. Automate Your Thermostat & HVAC system

One of the easiest things you can do to instantly start saving money on your heating and cooling bills is to get an automated thermostat. These smart thermostats will learn when you are home and make sure the home is at a comfortable setting during those hours so you're not cooling the house when no one is around to enjoy it. They also learn when you're going to be home so they can adjust the temperature before you step in the door to ensure your house is always comfortable!

Last year I replaced all of the thermostats in my house with the Nest learning thermostat. It learns your schedule to keep your home comfortable when you are home. Nests’ are pricey, but according to the Nest website, some energy companies will give you a $249 Nest Thermostat free when you sign up for some of their plans. Definitely check with your utility provider to see what you can get from them.

4. Check Outlets & Power Cords

Electrical appliances are the 4th leading cause of fires in the home and many can be prevented by a simple check of the health of your cords and outlets.

All you have to do is walk around your home and inspect your cords, outlets and surge protectors. Make sure the cords are not frayed, especially paying attention to where they have to bend. Confirm there are not burn marks around any outlets and spend a minute or so with each outlet and surge protector listening for any zips or zaps. Replace any that do.

This is also a good opportunity to unplug any electrical devices that you don't regularly use and may be leaching electricity and costing you money (especially those that have those big black wall-wart transformers — those are notorious for drawing power when the device they supply power to are off: you should be able to tell if the transformer feels warm to the touch).

5. Save On Monthly House-Related Bills & More!

Is maintaining the health of your house-related expenses as important as maintaining the house itself? We think “yes”, so we've curated a short list of some of our favorite online offers for homeowners.

Full disclosure: This section of tips is sponsored, and allows us to keep writing and sharing helpful content with homeowners like you. If you do decide to take advantage of the following items, Do It Yourself Home Tips may receive compensation. We've hand-picked and verified the offers to be relevant to our readers, but if you're not into that sort of thing, feel free to skip right along!

a. You May Qualify to Save Over $400 on Car Insurance. A really great money saving tactic homeowners can use is to bundle insurance plans. Many providers offer steep discounts for consolidating policies! One of the easiest tools for lowering rates is a fast and free price comparison courtesy of this Car Insurance Discount Calculator. Our partners there take a look at rates in your area, compare them to national providers and help you quickly find the lowest rates with just a few clicks.

b. Never Pay Out-of-Pocket For Home Repairs Again. Homeowners know better than anybody: if it can go wrong it will go wrong. When purchasing new construction, buyers are often given an option to purchase a home warranty that covers home repairs on everything from microwaves to roofs. What many people don't know is that almost any homeowner is eligible to get a home warranty for their existing homes. Think of it as insurance for the things that break all the time in your home.

c. Get Out of Debt, Fast! If you owe more than $15,000 in credit card debt, this proven debt relief program may reduce the amount you owe. Consumers could resolve their debts with absolutely no loan required and pay it off at a rapid pace. If you’ve struggled to pay your credit card debt, act now before your debt snowballs.

6. “Childproof” Your Outlets Even If You Don't Have Kids

Sticking a simple child proof plug into your electrical outlets could save you 5% on your energy bill this year. Who knew that doing something to protect your kids could also protect your bank account!

My first home which was built in 1999 had this next problem. The inside outlets located on the exterior walls were like mini vacuums when it came to transferring air from the inside to the outside.

If you have an older home or a poorly constructed home you’ve probably got the same problem.

Electrical outlet boxes typically don’t have any insulation behind them, creating what is basically a hole in your wall. On a windy day take some incense or a match and put it in front of an outlet (one without a plug in it of course) and see if you can see air movement. In my situation I noticed this during the winter when I felt a cold breeze coming through the outlets.

Sticking a simple child proof plug into your electrical outlets could save you 5% on your energy bill this year. Who knew that doing something to protect your kids could also protect your bank account!

My first home which was built in 1999 had this next problem. The inside outlets located on the exterior walls were like mini vacuums when it came to transferring air from the inside to the outside.

If you have an older home or a poorly constructed home you’ve probably got the same problem.

Electrical outlet boxes typically don’t have any insulation behind them, creating what is basically a hole in your wall. On a windy day take some incense or a match and put it in front of an outlet (one without a plug in it of course) and see if you can see air movement. In my situation I noticed this during the winter when I felt a cold breeze coming through the outlets.

7. Use WD-40 For EVERYTHING!

You already use WD-40 to loosen bolts and stop squeaking hinges, but did you know it could do these other amazing things around your house?

1. Waterproof your shoes and boots – WD-40 works by displacing water (WD stands for Water Displacement) so it can be a great waterproofer in a pinch if it's wet or snowy out!

2. Keep squirrels away from bird feeders – spray around your bird feeder and enjoy watching those pesky squirrels slip and slide right off (warning: the result is hilarious)

3. Get rid of sticky fingers – WD-40 dissolves tough sticky and gluey materials with ease

4. Remove floor scuff marks and oil spots – if mopping is not doing the trick, try WD-40 to remove tough scuffs and stains

5. Clean the toilet – remove lime stains from the toilet bowl by spraying in some WD-40, then just scrub with a toilet brush and flush

8. New Government Free-Market Enrollment Lowers Premiums and Deductibles up to 50%

Free-Market Policies Could Reduce Your Costs Today

Open enrollment is here – and this time around things are different.

Recent changes make having coverage more affordable, lower deductibles and better coverage while keeping the same providers/doctors if desired.

Under the new administration, more providers are available in your city. This means you'll be able to lower your premiums starting now through Free-Market Options.

How Do I Qualify for New Free-Market Health Enrollment Options?

It doesn't matter if you're currently insured or not yet covered. New health plans may help lower your current premiums, deductibles and even increase your coverage because of new open-enrollment.

Tax-incentives/credits are still available and new health plans could cut your current premiums by 50% as early as this month.

How to Check Your Savings: It's Free to Compare

Step 1: Tap Your age below

Step 2: Check Your Zip Code to match providers and compare savings in real time. More providers per zip code = more savings.

Step 3: Answer a few basic questions so we are able to accurately match all providers in your area and realtime savings

9. Change ALL Your Air Filters

Replace the air filter(s) in your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, to keep it running more efficiently.

Old filters have reduced air flow forcing your equipment to work harder. This causes parts like fans and blowers to wear faster, especially after a cold winter. A $10 filter can save you thousands on repair costs!

10. Clean Your Refrigerator Coils!

You can eliminate more than 70 percent of service calls with this simple cleaning step. Skip this chore and you’ll be contributing to your appliance repair technician’s retirement fund. Not to mention handing over $5 to $10 a month extra to your utility company because the fridge isn’t running efficiently.

Do it twice a year or more often if you have shedding pets. Their fur clogs up the coils fast.

Condenser coils are located on the back of the fridge or across the bottom. These coils cool and condense the refrigerant. When the coils are clogged with dirt and dust, they can’t efficiently release heat. The result is your compressor works harder and longer than it was designed to, using more energy and shortening the life of your fridge.

Clean the coils with a coil cleaning brush and vacuum. A coil cleaning brush does a thorough job and will easily pay for itself. The refrigerator coil brush is bendable to fit in tight areas. They can be used for cleaning your dehumidifier and air conditioner coils too.

11. Check for Air Leaks Around Windows

Want to save some real money on the energy bill? Make sure your home is shut tight by running a simple candle test.

Take a look at all places in your home where two different materials meet as well as external facing doors and windows. Hold a lit candle and slowly move it around the window frame to see if the flame follows a draft. A simple helping of caulk around these leaks could save you 5-15% on your heating and cooling costs.

You can even use weather sealing tape around windows instead of caulk, but the finished product will rely heavily on your ability to tape cleanly.


REMINDER Homeowners Are Saving $271/Month ($3,252/Year) Or More By Taking Advantage Of This Expiring Government Program

To prevent a significant recession like we experienced in 2009, the US Government has created a program similar to HARP to ensure that home owners are able to keep monthly payments low and avoid falling behind.

Although millions of homeowners have taken advantage of this government program, millions more could save hundreds a month according to a recent CNBC study.

Unfortunately, this program expires in October, this very month, and there has been no indication the Government will be extending it. So we are urging homeowners to verify their eligibility before this program expires this month.

12. Shop Bulk and Save Big

Many people never even bother to look at some of the larger packages of nonperishable items – they think it’s just too much. Try looking at the cost per unit of all of the sizes and choose the one that’s the best deal. Check for coupons and coupon codes for items you go through a lot of. There are many coupon sites out there with updated daily deals on hundreds of items. Simply search for what you need (and don’t buy what you don’t need, even if it’s on sale!) and if a good enough coupon presents itself, buy it in bulk.

Spread out over months and over a lot of items (think of all of the nonperishables in your home, from salt and sugar to soap and shampoo – food is just the beginning), this can add up to a lot of trimmed wallet fat.

13. Replace Your Inefficient Bulbs With LEDs

If you’ve never updated the lightbulbs in your home, consider switching to LEDs. These bulbs are about four times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and last for many years. One tip: When comparing bulbs, use the lumens number to compare bulbs, not the equivalent wattages. Lumens indicate the actual amount of light emitted by the bulb.

Remember also that under normal usage (four hours a day) and average electrical rates ($0.12 per kilowatt hour), replacing a 60-watt bulb with a 14-watt LED saves about $0.66 per month. Now multiply that by all the bulbs in your house to see how much you’ll save every month. Even switching just the five most-used light bulbs in your home could save you upwards of $40 a year on your electric bill.


Don't Forget to Claim the Top 3 Most Popular Money Saving Benefits…

 Reduce Mortgage Payments: Click here to take $3,252 Off Your Mortgage!

 Get Cheap Car Insurance: Click here to search discounted rates on auto insurance!

 Lower Your Health Insurance: Check Zip Code For New Savings

 Get Out of Debt, Fast! : debt relief program

 Protect Your House with a Home Warranty: Click here for a free quote.

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