Category Archives: DIY

Clean your air conditioner at home

Last week I had to get an air conditioner serviced. The air conditioner was cooling fairly well, but struggling to keep up on hot days when it had kept up just fine last year. So I bit the bullet and paid $79 for a cleaning and health check. In the process I learned it’s possible to clean your air conditioner at home. And save a bundle.

I also learned is that a cleaning can make the difference between running all day and being able to maintain a comfortable temperature while cycling. So cleaning the air conditioner makes it more comfortable and more efficient, saving you money. I also learned that the most important part of the cleaning is something you can do yourself, very easily. If your air conditioner isn’t under warranty anymore, you can save the $79, which adds up.

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Install an outlet for an above range microwave

We have a house with an above range microwave, but no nearby outlet to plug it into. The previous owners simply ran an extension cord. While I’m not 100% positive this is illegal to do in my locality, the safety is questionable and it certainly goes against the manufacturer’s recommendations. My home inspector wanted me to install an outlet. Here’s how to install an outlet for an above range microwave.

Better yet, I did it over the drywall without tearing into any walls, and spending less than $20.

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Change a lawn mower blade safely and easily

I needed to change a lawn mower blade this weekend, which meant I had to remove the stubborn old blade first. That proved to be a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. I learned the secret of changing a blade without hurting myself, and without a torque wrench, even when the stubborn bolt doesn’t want to turn.

To remove and replace a lawn mower blade safely and easily, you need a length of 2×4 board long enough to stand on, a small plastic pan, the biggest socket wrench you can find, and a socket that matches the bolt on your mower. If you don’t have a socket wrench, you can use a regular crescent wrench, but you want the biggest one you can find. Longer wrenches give more leverage, and you need lots of leverage. Continue reading Change a lawn mower blade safely and easily

LED bulb garage door opener interference

While installing a new garage door opener, I found a curious statement in the manual: Don’t use LED bulbs. Why can’t you use LED bulbs in a garage door opener? Six words: LED bulb garage door opener interference. Continue reading LED bulb garage door opener interference

My recent experience with peel and stick vinyl planks

Because of my nearly-new job, I needed home-office space in a hurry and without spending a lot. A few weeks ago I spotted some peel and stick vinyl planks at my local Lowe’s store, sold under the Style Selections brand and priced at 98 or 99 cents per square foot, so I picked some up. I also installed them in my entryway.

For the money, I think they’re very good. Continue reading My recent experience with peel and stick vinyl planks

Fix a dryer that heats but won’t dry

So the dryer stopped drying a few days ago. The dryer is relatively new; I think we got it about 18 months ago to replace a dryer a friend gave me. That was a little early, given my old dryer lasted so long. I learned how to fix a dryer that heats but won’t dry.

That old dryer, by the way, was a Whirlpool that looked like it probably could remember Ronald Reagan, and maybe even Jimmy Carter. So it seemed a little odd for this new dryer (a rebadged Whirlpool from a local scratch-and-dent dealer) to develop an old-age disease this quickly.

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