Winter Hot Water Heater Maintenance Tips for Seattle Homeowners

Winter Hot Water Heater Maintenance Tips for Seattle Homeowners - Greenwood Hardware

Winter time is no friend of your home’s plumbing. The frigid temperatures wreak havoc on your pipes and can cause you some serious headaches as well as cost you a lot of money in repairs. One of the items in your home that you may not even think twice about is your hot water heater. You don’t realize how much you depend on your hot water until it is gone. The folks at Greenwood Hardware want you to have hot water all year round and have a few tips for you to use to make sure your hot water heater survives another winter. Typically, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by performing regular maintenance on the water heater to prevent any major breakdowns.

  • Inspect the on/off valve on your water heater. If you discover there is even the smallest leak, you need to replace the valve or have the tank undergo maintenance.
  • Have the tank flushed to remove any sediment that may be built up inside the bottom. This sediment will cause problems for you in the long run as well as reduce efficiency of the tank.
  • Inspect the outside of the tank and look for any rust spots. These could indicate trouble. Monitor the spots and if you see there are more or the spot is growing, you are going to need to have your water heater replaced before it breaks down and floods your home.
  • If you notice it seems to be taking longer for you to get hot water or you don’t have as much, your water heater may be on its last legs. Loud gurgling noises are also indicative of a problem. Consider replacing the water heater before it goes out completely.

You know your house best! If you notice any changes in the way your water heater works, it is best to call a professional out to evaluate the situation. A broken water heater is a bit of a nightmare. It seems like the things always break on a Friday night, leaving you without hot water for days! Head into Greenwood Hardware today and check out our line of water heaters available. Professional installation is also available! Don’t wait until it is too late – come on in, or contact us online.

How to Grow an Indoor Herb Garden this Winter

How to Grow an Indoor Herb Garden this Winter - Greenwood Hardware

Summer may be well over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fresh herbs without running to the store. Growing herbs is not restricted to an outdoor garden or greenhouse. You can grow fresh herbs right in your kitchen. Seattle residents will appreciate the aromatic presence an indoor herb garden gives off. Herbs are prolific and need very little space or dirt to thrive. You can find everything you need, which is really very little, at Greenwood Hardware.

You don’t need anything fancy for your indoor garden. A bright window that gets plenty of sun and a few pots is all that you need. Ideally, you will want to choose a south-facing window that gets at least six hours of sunlight every day. You won’t need to invest in grow lights if your window gets enough light.

You need a potting soil designed for indoor pots. Be careful you don’t get garden soil, as this is not suitable for growing plants indoors. There are numerous pots you can use for your herb garden. Small clay pots are perfect. You can even paint the pots to match your décor or make them whimsical! The key to a good pot is one that allows the soil to drain. A single hole in the bottom will do just fine. Don’t overload the pots with too many seeds. Potted herbs will not grow to be as big as they would if they were in your garden, but you still need to give them plenty of room to grow.

Lastly, you will need herb seeds. There are some herbs that are better suited to growing indoors. Check out the following list and choose your favorites.

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Tarragon
  • Bay
  • Sage
  • Thyme

Each of these herbs can be used fresh or clipped and dried for later. If you need to freshen up the kitchen, all you need to do is crush a small portion of the plant to release the herb scent. An indoor herb garden ensures your house will smell great and your food will be enhanced with bursts of flavor from your homegrown plants. Head into Greenwood Hardware today and get what you need to start growing your herbs. Come on in, or contact us online.

How to Prevent Clogged Drains in Your Seattle Home

How to Prevent Clogged Drains in Your Seattle Home - Greenwood Hardware

It seems like there is always something going on in your house that needs fixing. Fortunately, most problems are relatively minor and can be fixed by you. But on occasion, there are those problems that are serious and require the expensive services of a professional. It is a major blow to the bank account when you have to write a check out to the furnace repair people or the plumber. Sadly, most of these costly repairs can be avoided with a little regular maintenance.

Clogged drains may seem like no big deal, but the problem quickly spirals out of control and turns into an emergency call to the plumber on a Friday night. At Greenwood Hardware, you will find what you need to make sure your drains are clean and clog-free so you don’t have to worry about those overtime calls!

  • Remove the stoppers in your sinks and the screens from your shower once a week. There is usually some debris stuck around the screen or stopper. Wipe it clean and toss the gunk in the trash. For the shower, use a coat hanger to get rid of anything that may a bit further down the pipe.
  • Use a safe drain cleaner about once a month in the sinks and tubs in your home. This will help stay ahead of any major clogs.
  • Place mesh screens over your bath/shower screen to catch hair and other debris that tends to go through the screen and gets caught up in the drain, causing a clog. The mesh screens can be placed under the cover so nobody sees them.
  • Ask family members to brush their hair before they get into the shower. This will help keep a lot of hair from going into the drain.
  • Bathe your pets outdoors whenever possible. Pet hair is tragic to a drain.
  • Use a brush to clean the garbage disposal at least once a month. Do your best to limit the amount of stuff you put into the garbage disposal. Scraping plates into the garbage before they go into the sink is a good practice.
  • Never pour coffee grounds, grease, pasta or bread into your drains. These are all very common problems of clogs.
  • Install a toilet seat lock if you have young children in the house who are prone to tossing things in the toilet.

You can prevent clogged drains by performing these very easy maintenance tricks. The price of drain cleaner is substantially less than a plumber’s fee. Head on into Greenwood Hardware today and pick up your drain-cleaning supplies. Come on in, or contact us online.

Eliminating Drafts in Your Seattle Home During the Cold Winter Months

Eliminating Drafts in Your Seattle Home During the Cold Winter Months - Greenwood Hardware

You have probably already noticed this winter seems to be headed in the direction predicted by the weather experts—cold and wet. When you sit on your couch, you may notice a cold draft that chills you. It isn’t just chilling you. It is chilling your house and making your furnace work harder. That is going to cost you more money and possibly repair costs if the furnace is working much harder than it needs to. You can eliminate those drafts and feel warmer and ultimately save money on your heating bill. All you need to do is head on into Greenwood Hardware and pick up a few supplies.

  1. Plastic sheeting that can be placed over your windows will block a lot of those drafts that come in around your window and through the glass. You can find kits that include everything you need to seal the windows. Some kits will require you to use a hairdryer to shrink the plastic to the windows. It is easily removed in the spring.
  2. Door guards placed in front of your doors can stop a lot of the cold drafts that waft in through the small space below your door and above the door jam.
  3. Insulation strips are an easy fix as well. The strips include self-sticking tape that makes it easy to stick inside the door jam. This will block drafts from all around the door.
  4. Use caulking to take care of any areas around the windows or doors that allow drafts. Caulking around pipe fixtures under the sink can also eliminate drafts.
  5. Placing throw rugs on hardwood and tile floors can help make a house feel warmer. If you have vents that are not in use, close them and put a rug over the top.
  6. Hanging heavy drapes over the windows can block a lot of the drafts that come through the glass. Blankets will do if drapes are not possible.
  7. Adding insulation behind outlets will stop drafts from coming in around them.
  8. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan to push the warm air that rises back down to the living space.

These are quick and easy tips you can do in a single afternoon, and the effects will be felt almost immediately. Blocking drafts will make you feel more comfortable – and you will appreciate the cost savings on your electric bill! Head into Greenwood Hardware today to get what you need to eliminate the drafts in your home. Come on in, or contact us online.

Keeping Mice Out of Your Seattle Home this Winter

Keeping Mice Out of Your Seattle Home this Winter - Greenwood Hardware

It’s cold outside, and it isn’t only you and your pets who are clamoring to get inside. You have probably discovered you have some unwelcome critters seeking refuge in your home as well. Mice don’t like the cold any more than we do and tend to become nuisances around this time of year. Nobody particularly loves living in the same house with mice. You can take action to get rid of them without hiring pest control. Keep in mind; when there is one mouse, there are several more hidden that you cannot see. Head on into Greenwood Hardware to pick up the few things you need to evict the mice from your house.

  • Mice can fit through holes the size of a quarter. Do an inspection around the outside of your house to look for any holes. Fill the holes with caulk, copper mesh or galvanized flashing. Steel wool held in place with caulking is also an effective way to keep mice out. Copper wool is a better option if you can get it.
  • Glue boards are an option to catch any mice that are in the house. They are a little more convenient to use than traps.
  • Mousetraps are a tried and true remedy, but they can snap at any moment. You will need to bait the traps often as well.
  • Bait boxes are another option and are safe for use around your family pets and children. The poison bait is trapped inside the box. Think of it as a roach motel. The mice go in, but they don’t go out.

You can help make your home less inviting by making sure you keep all food sealed. Don’t leave things out on the counter or let the kids hide their crackers under their beds. You want to remove any sources of food, including the dog and cat food in the garage or pantry. Place the food inside sealed rubber totes to keep the mice from chewing through the bags.

Don’t be ashamed by mice in your house! Even the biggest, fanciest houses deal with rodents. You can stop the mice from inviting more of their family members to live in your house by following the above tips. You will find everything you need at Greenwood Hardware to make your house less inviting for rodents. Come on in, or contact us online.