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Tips to make your home sparkle

The holiday season’s here - time for enjoying your favorite foods, cider simmering on the stove and gatherings of friends and family. If you’re hosting a holiday celebration, prepping your home now will help reduce last-minute chores and make the season more enjoyable.

Cleaning the glass on your front door and windows makes a good first impression, brightens the inside of your home and improves views.

“Cleaning your windows and doors helps invite more natural light into your home in the winter and provides a clearer view,” says Kathy Krafka Harkema, Pella Windows and Doors spokesperson. “Use the right cleaners, supplies and techniques for best results.”

How to clean glass in windows and doors

Krafka Harkema recommends these tips to create a clearer view:

Step 1: Use an ammonia-free glass cleaner

Try a premixed vinegar-based cleaner, or make your own by mixing one part white vinegar to 10 parts water and apply to the glass. Avoid getting cleaning solutions on wood, fiberglass or vinyl frames, as they may discolor the finish.

Step 2:

Use horizontal and vertical motions to wipe away the cleaner with a dry, lint-free towel. Clean interior and exterior surfaces.

Step 3:

Wipe up cleaner promptly to keep it from setting into the glass and frame junction, which could potentially weaken the seal.

Step 4:

Rinse with clear water if streaks remain after cleaning, and dry with a clean, lint-free towel.

Inviting entryways

Another key project to add curb appeal is replacing your old, worn-out front door. Pella offers Energy Star-qualified wood-grain fiberglass exterior doors that look like wood, without the ongoing maintenance of wood.

“Fiberglass entry doors provide exceptional energy efficiency, weather resistance and durability,” Krafka Harkema says. “Plus, stylish options in today’s elegant fiberglass entry door systems with decorative glass create a distinctive look for your home.”

How to hang holiday lights

Displaying holiday lights around windows, doors and other architectural features adds holiday cheer to your home and yard. Follow these tips from Lowe’s to safely hang lights:

• Look for LED lights that give off a bright light but remain cool to the touch. They’re also more energy efficient and often last longer than regular incandescent bulbs.

• Look for specialty hooks, clamps, adhesive-backed hardware and suction cup hooks that make it easy to attach lights to window trim and door frames. Avoid nailing into a window or door frame to hang lights, which could void the unit’s warranty and impact its performance.

• A good rule of thumb is that you’ll need 100 lights for every 1 1/2 foot of tree or shrub you want to cover.

For more information on choosing and caring for your home’s windows and doors in any season, visit

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