We already look to spring as a time to deep clean and declutter, but it’s also the perfect time to go through your home maintenance checklist and take care of some extra chores. Here are some of the items that often get overlooked when it comes to home upkeep. Admittedly, these may not be the most exciting tasks you’ll take on this spring, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! If you go ahead and address these things now, and annually going forward, you’ll save a lot of money and irritation down the road.
Change Your Air Filters….All of Them!
Replacing the air filters in your HVAC system isn’t just a money-saving step to make your unit run more efficiently, but clean filters also cuts down on the amount of pollen, mites, and other allergens in your home. Your HVAC is likely not the only item you own that has a filter though. Change the filters in any vacuums and air purifiers now as well to further reduce your chances of dealing with seasonal allergies.
Check Your Insulation
Pull that wooden ladder down and pop your head into the attic for a quick look around. You should see insulation piled up between the wooden ceiling beams to a depth of at least six inches everywhere in the attic. If you see less that six inches, or if any insulation appears to be damaged, it’s time to install new insulation. The Department of Energy has a great guide on attic insulation, with specific information about how much you should have depending on where you live.
Clean Your Refrigerator Coils
Condenser coils are located on the back of a refrigerator or across the bottom. These coils cool and condense refrigerant, but they are prone to getting clogged by dust, dirt and pet hair, making them work less efficiently. Clean them once each year with a coil cleaning brush and vacuum, or twice each year if you have pets. Coil cleaning brushes are special brushes that are bendable to fit into tight areas. Cleaning your coils annually will extend the life of your refrigerator and make sure everything stays cool as can be.
Clean the Gutters
The leaves, pine needles, sticks and small debris that build up in your gutter don’t just trap water, though this can lead to a leaky roof and water damage. Additionally, a gunked up gutter can become a haven to rodents and other pests, including wasps and hornets looking for the perfect spot to build a nest. Even if you are handy, consider having this done professionally by folks who are experts at working while balancing on ladders – falls from ladders send around 250,000 Americans to the ER each year.
Clean Out Your Dryer Vent
You know to clean your dryer’s lint trap after every load, but many of us never think about cleaning out the wall vent behind the dryer. The lint that builds up in the vent is extremely flammable, but a yearly clean out can keep your family and valuables safe. You can purchase a special vacuum attachment for tackling this job, or you can pay a professional to clear out the lint for you.