Tips from Toby: Home, lawn & garden essentials

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Toby Tobin has spent the past 30 years fielding questions about the home, lawn and garden. Now he's put together some tips for each month of the year. Here are some great tips for January. Many you can do while you're just walking around the house and others just take a matter of minutes but they'll make a big difference at your home. 

Let's talk about your windows. That's where so many of the cold drafts come in our homes. Make sure the windows are closed and latched properly. Fix any windows that are misaligned. Also if you have storm windows, close them. Just these three simple steps can make it a lot more comfortable and save you almost 15% on your heating Bill.

Turn down your thermostat just one degree. This easy tip won't change your comfort level much but will save you another 5 percent on your heating bill. Be sure to change your furnace filter. Check it for a bunch of build up and replace it regularly. A dirty filter makes your furnace run less efficiently and can even shut the whole system down.

Check out my favorite seed catalogue companies online. This is the time to start planning your spring herbs, veggies and more. You can even grow some of your favorites in patio containers. Growing your own food is much more delicious and saves some cash on your grocery bill.

Call our friends at Anthony Plumbing, Heating and Cooling and schedule a water heater flush. This simple step of getting a tune up and draining out sediment build up can extend the life of your water heater by up to two years. Plus if you're water heater is gas it's a good time to make sure there are no leaks.

For the outside of the house, pick up those piles of leaves that have blown up close to your foundation. This is a great place for critters to hide and get in your home. Plus they're a fire hazard. Also if any of your ivy or plants have attached themselves to your home, this is a great time to pull them down now while they are dormant and easier to pull away.

We're all busy but if you keep up on my easy tips each month you won't believe how much you can save!

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