Beyond Spring Cleaning
11 home maintenance tips for spring
You've washed the windowpanes and beaten the rugs. Now what? Follow our 11 tips that take spring cleaning to the next level.
- Upgrade your Filtrete Filter. If you typically use a basic air filter, consider upgrading to a more efficient, allergen-reducing filter for spring. Filters with a higher microparticle performance rating (MPR) can help to reduce airborne pollen and tree mold spores that come with the warmer weather.
- Clean your cooktop vent. Over time, the vent above your stovetop accumulates cooking grease and other grime. When the vent is clogged, it can't efficiently carry cooking odors and smoke outdoors. Pop off the vent cover and give it a good scrub in the kitchen sink.
- Tune up your air conditioner. It may not be hot enough to use yet, but now is the time to get your A/C system ready for the summer. Vacuum any debris from the condenser unit (that big box) outside your home. Make sure that your Freon levels are good, too, or call a pro if you need a refill. Too little Freon will cause your system to run less efficiently (making it cost more to operate).
- Clean your heat or energy recovery ventilator. If your home was built within the last 12 years, it likely has a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or energy recovery ventilator (ERV). Rinse out the filter every three months to keep the system at peak performance. Give the fresh air intake vent outside your home some attention, too. It's easy--just brush or hose off any visible debris.
- Clean your ducts. If you've lived in your home for a few years and have not had your ducts cleaned yet, now is the time. Once clean, your ducts will be all set for the next four to five years.
- Flush out the dryer vent. A dryer vent clogged with lint is a fire risk. But it's simple to clean. First, buy a round bristle brush with a long handle from the hardware store. Outside, remove the vent hood and use the brush to dislodge as much of the lint debris as possible. You'll be suprised at how much can accumulate in just a few months! As a final step, turn on the dryer for a few minutes to blow out the loosened debris.
- Remove Window Insulator Films. Once the daytime temperature stays a steady 50 or 60 degrees, it's safe to take off your Window Insulator Films. To help prevent the window frame finish from peeling off with the tape, remove tape slowly. If a sticky residue remains, wipe it clean with a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball.
- Give the roof a once-over. Winter cold can make shingles brittle and prone to breakage. Walk around the outside of your home to check the roof for damaged shingles. Call a pro to help with any repairs. While you're outdoors, check for peeling caulk on doors and windows, and look for weather stripping in need of replacement.
- Clean your gutters. You gave your gutters a good cleaning last fall. But late-falling leaves, sticks and silt can accumulate during the winter. Clean out your gutters and downspouts, too in anticipation of spring rains.
- Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. At least once a year, check detectors to make sure they're working properly, and change the batteries. Spring is a great time to remember this important task.
- Dust the ceiling fans. During the winter, unused ceiling fans can accumulate a thick layer of dust. Turn on the fans before they're clean and whoosh! Dust flies everywhere. Standing on a stepladder, wipe down fan blades with a damp cloth.
Larry Cavalier leads the team of Filtrete™ Healthy Home Authority, a resource center that helps you maintain a healthier home.
Visit the Healthy Home Authority website >