Home Maintenance Tips For Spring:
As winter tapers off, many homeowners gear up to give their homes a thorough spring cleaning to welcome in the warmer weather. While that may mean a lot of dusting, polishing, washing and organizing, it is also important to address the systems in a home that may otherwise get overlooked.
Here are three simple, yet important, areas of the home to keep in mind during this year’s spring-cleaning:
1. Check on the HVAC System
A home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system requires a filter replacement every few months to maintain clean airflow throughout the home.
This is especially important after the winter months when filters can become clogged from increased air pollution caused by months of closed windows and doors keeping typical dust, dirt and pet dander trapped inside. A clean air filter extends a furnace’s life, lowers energy bills and improves indoor air quality. It can also significantly improve spring allergy symptoms, which can start as early as February.
To change the filter, simply turn off the HVAC system, remove the old filter and replace it with a new one, then turn the system back on. Consult your furnace manual for the recommended filter type and size. Include the date on the new filter to keep track of the time in between changes.
2. Review Home Safety Systems
Like any electrical systems, home safety systems should be periodically tested to ensure they are in proper working order. This includes a home alarm system, carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors. As simple as they may be to overlook, these devices can quickly turn into life-saving gadgets in an emergency — and they must be maintained in order to do so.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested monthly by pressing the test button and waiting for a beep, and smoke detectors should be tested with actual smoke every six months. All detectors should also be cleaned and batteries should be changed every six months to prevent them from running low. Smoke and CO detectors should be changed out every 10 years.
Prior to completing a monthly test to your home’s alarm system, be sure to alert the home monitoring company and activate the system in test mode. To test, open and close every door and window and walk in front of every motion sensor. The alarm should also be retested after any work is done either outside the home (like a cable installation) or on the home itself, as sensors may have been moved out of alignment.
3. Give the Kitchen a Thorough Cleansing
While most people clean kitchens on a daily or weekly basis, there are some areas in need of a deeper clean that tend to get overlooked. For example, if your kitchen has an over-the-range microwave, the range hood filter and fan should be cleaned periodically to remove the accumulated grease and grime. Start by wiping down the dirt with a citrus-based cleaner then remove the grease filter from the fan. The filter can be cleaned with hot soapy water or a run through the dishwasher. Also wipe down the fan blades if they can be reached – making sure the power is turned off beforehand.
The stove can be given a deep clean by addressing the burners, drip pans and knobs and the oven can be gently refreshed with baking soda and water. Lastly, use citrus cleaner to remove grease buildup from the cabinets surrounding the stove.
Home Maintenance Tips For Summer:
Getting your home for summer can take several steps, since you want to ensure that both the interior and exterior are prepped to keep you and your family safe, healthy, happy, and cool all summer long. You also want to ensure you take the proper steps to prep your home's exterior for the weather, so you can ensure it withstands the harsh elements that come with the summer, including strong sun, rain showers, hot temps, and more. If you are ready to get your home prepped for summer, read on. This list will help you understand what summer home maintenance essentials you'll need for the season, and how you can get your house in its best shape as the year's warmest months arrive.
During the summer, your home's interior will need to be a place that is cool and safe for your family and friends. Here are some steps to take to get it ready for the heat.
1. Service Your Air Conditioner
If you have central air conditioning, make sure you get it serviced as summer begins. You want to ensure that it is working in tip-top shape so that keeps working all through the hottest months. If you have a window air conditioner unit, you can easily service the air conditioner yourself. Remove and clean the filter, and test to make sure that the unit is blowing and cooling properly.
2. Prepare for Bugs
Bugs seem to appear out of nowhere in the summer, and if you are not ready, they can come inside of your home. If you want to make sure that the pests stay outside where they belong, you can set up barriers to keep them outside. You can call an exterminator to help, or take some steps on your own to beat the bugs. Some steps to take include:
- Set up ant traps.
- Get fly paper or a fly zapper.
- Thoroughly sweep and dust where food has been.
- Plant mint around the exterior of your home.
3. Make Sure Your Windows and Doors are Sealed
Getting your house cool and prepping for bugs are two great steps. But both will be for naught if you have leaks arond your windows or doors. Check to make sure weather stripping is in place and that your windows shut tight. If not, make the necessary repairs so that windows and doors that they are tightly sealed. This will ensure your house is as energy-efficient and bug proof as possible.
4. Get Blinds and Curtains Set Up
Running the air conditioner all summer can be expensive and use a lot of electricity. Reduce energy usage and costs by making sure you have blinds and curtains you can close during the day when the sun is beaming. This a smart way to keep direct light out and temperatures cooler without powering on anything electronic.
Outside of the home takes a real beating when the weather heats up. Here are some things you should do to make sure it can withstand the season.
5. Clean Out Gutters and Downspouts
Cleaning the gutters isn't just a step to take after fall. It's also important to do after the spring, when seedpods and pollen have fallen. Cleaning the gutters is important because it allows the rain from summer rainstorms to flow off of the roof and away from the foundation, preventing things like leaks, foundation damage, pest infestations in standing water, bad smells, and more.
6. Have the Roof Inspected
Summer is notorious for hard rain storms in most of the U.S. Get your roof inspected to make sure it is good shape. If the inspection reveals damage or potential spots for a leak, repair those. Putting in money for repairs initially could save you a lot in the long run, if you are able to avoid leaks and the furniture and structural damage they might cause.
7. Prep Your Yard
As summer begins, clear out winter and spring debris that has gathered in the yard. You want to be sure the exterior of your home is free of dead plant matter to avoid bugs and bacteria that could harm your grass or plants. Start a vegetable or flower garden if you grow one. And make sure to get all the tools ready that you'll need all season long, like a lawn mower, string trimmer, hedge trimmer, and whatever other devices will help ensure the exterior of your house looks great.
8. Clean the Windows
Make sure your windows are sparkly clean for the summer. That way, you can see the beauty of nature blooming outside from indoors, all season long. If you take some time to get your house as prepared as it can possibly be, you can enjoy the summer, resting assured that your house will stay in good condition all season long.
If you are planning to tackle home maintenance because you are considering selling your home (or you hope to buy a new one), get in touch with a WIN Home Inspection expert near you. Alternatively, call (800) 309-6753 or email us at email@example.com and one of our experts will contact you promptly.
We are one of the largest networks of home inspectors in the country, and we can help you figure out what home inspection services you need—then set them up at your convenience.