Believe it or not but winter is right around the corner. As someone who enjoys the outdoors, especially hanging out on my dock or in my English rose garden, being stuck in the house when the weather turns cold can sometimes be a real downer. Today’s Homeowner host and home improvement expert Danny Lipford joined me for an interview this week to dish on how you can let some much needed light into your home once the weather gets chilly, beautiful indoor DIY projects you can complete in a jiffy, and some simple ways we can make cleaning easier.
Candace Rose: What are some things homeowners can do to avoid the blues this winter?
Danny Lipford: “When it starts getting really cold and you’re driven inside you can get kind of antsy, you can get lethargic and none of that’s good. One of the first things you can do is to allow a lot of sunshine to come into every room of your house. Open up the blinds, open up the curtains! That sunshine will make you feel a lot better and will also make you want to do a few more things around the house.
Staying active is also a really good thing. How about installing some crown moulding. People get intimidated by crown moulding, but with the corner blocks that are available now make it a lot easier to just cut regular straight cuts, tie it right in and it looks very, very nice. Another thing – installing a ceiling medallion is also one of those things that can really enhance the look of a room.
Another thing that you can do during this time of the year since you’ll be spending so much time inside, consider some deep intense cleaning. That’s not the most fun thing on the book, but it’s a great time of the year to do that very thing. There’s a lot of ways that you can do that kind of thing without making it very hard.”
Candace Rose: What can we do to make cleaning a little easier?
Danny Lipford: “The microfiber cloths are something that a lot of the professionals use to clean the fan blades, clean furniture and just about anything else in the house. When you really want to get an intense clean on one of the largest surfaces you have in your home, you need a central vacuum system and one that really does work well. This one from NuTone (please see video above for details) is two to three times more powerful than canister vacuums. And because of the indoor air quality issue, all of the air that goes through this goes through a HEPA filter and then exhausts all the way to the outside instead of recirculating that air and contaminates right back into the room. Obviously this is a great way to go and this can be installed in existing houses as easy as brand new construction.”
Candace Rose: Are there any other ways to clear the air in your home?
Danny Lipford: “Well, moisture is a big problem because we’ve sealed our homes up so tightly, which is good, we’re saving money on our energy bill, but the exhaust of moisture in the house is very important and that starts in the bathroom. Now, whether you have a large bathroom like this (please see video above for details) or a smaller bathroom, it’s very important to have a good quality exhaust fan that will exhaust that hot moist air all the way to the outside. Since we have a larger bathroom here, we actually have two systems – one here in the water closet area, you can hardly hear it, it’s from Braun – it’s so quiet. This one over here is kind of unique, it’s in the shower area kind of tucked around. It’s an exhaust vent but this particular one has a humidistat sensor on it so that the relative humidity in this room gets up to a certain level, it automatically turns itself on and exhausts all of the hot moist air. That’s why the switch on this particular fan stays on all the time. When it’s needed it turns itself on, works perfectly.
You can get that same type of feature even if you don’t have this particular type by installing a simple humidity sensor switch that goes right in place of a single pole switch. It works very well in the same manner, so it is important getting that humidity out of there so that you can really improve your indoor air quality for your family.”
Candace Rose: Are these DIY projects or should we hire a professional?
Danny Lipford: “Well, if any of this intimidates you, certainly you can hire a professional but because Broan has developed so many systems – they have one called InVent and this is to where you’re able to remove the housing from downstairs and replace that housing. There’s another one that’s called Quick Kit that allows you to remove just the fan and replace it. Either system, they’re very easy to use, very quick to use and the thing about it, the end result you’re going to get a 50% quieter type of system and 35% stronger system by being able to do that. A lot of it is very do-it-yourself friendly.
Another thing we’re hearing about, Candace, is spot ventilation. You think about bathrooms and kitchens, it’s very important to have adequate ventilation in your kitchen, but what about the laundry room? What about your home gym? What about that home walk-in closet, well this is a good alternative for that (please see video above for details). It looks like a regular recess light that’s very popular but it also has the vent opening around it. This fits in the attic area and vents right to the outside so that you can provide that spot ventilation, some of those areas of your house that you may not have even thought about, but again getting rid of the moisture, getting rid of the odors, using the central vac system to get rid of a lot of that dust – now you’ve made some big strides toward having a much better quality of air inside your home.”
Candace Rose: Well, thank you so much, Danny! Where can we go for more information?
Danny Lipford: “I’d love for you to drop by our website at TodaysHomeowner.com. I have a lot of information for you on indoor air quality issues and pretty much anything you need to know about your home.”