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Leap Year Reminders

This year, we get to add another day to the month of February. This will be my 11th leap year I have been alive for. While I understand why we add the extra day (kind of), it makes me wish that we could have added it in a better month. Usually, February brings with it those cold days with no sunshine. I would have no complaints about having leap day land in July or August. Adding an extra day in February and living in Indiana just seems to be a cruel joke. Being such a fan of Dad jokes, I would have appreciated being born on leap year; the amount of mileage I would get out of that would drive everyone insane. I can see it now, going to a restaurant with my family of 4 and asking for 3 kid menus or telling everyone that my daughter and I are the same age—such a missed opportunity.

So, with the extra day in 2024, maybe I can get some of those winter day projects done. These projects will not take very long to mark off the list, and with the added day on your electric bill this year, it is a perfect year to try and save money.

  • Dryer vent: Not only can cleaning out your vent save you from a fire, but it also allows your dryer to run more efficiently. Most dryers discharge out of the back of the unit, then turn down or up, creating a 90-degree bend, allowing lint to build up and over time restrict the airflow and lengthen drying times. I have also seen where the vent terminates outside having some issues, like a plugged screen or louvers. Sometimes the damper is stuck open, allowing all that cold air to enter your home. So, taking an hour to accomplish this job can add up in kWh savings but also comfort.
  • Refrigerator: This one is one of my least favorites. Taking the time to clean out your coil on the refrigerator seems like a big job, but with the proper tools, it can be accomplished easily. Most hardware stores sell an appliance brush for this exact purpose. It is long enough to reach all the way to the back of the fridge to take off the dust bunnies and build up off the coil. Then use a vacuum to clean up the mess left behind from the brush. Keeping your coil clean helps your refrigerator to run more efficiently.
  • Furnace filter: I know some of you probably are very diligent about checking your filter every month. Some homes, the filter might only need to be changed 1 or two times a year, while others might be every quarter. With the longer running times of the furnace for the last few months, it’s a great time to check your filter. With newer furnaces now, a dirty filter can stop the system altogether.

Taking a few hours this year and knocking these off your list will not only save you some headaches in the future but will save you money over time. I have only met a few people that were born on leap day. It must be something about that day that makes them different because they all seemed so mature for their age. (Yes, that was my attempt at a joke).