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  4. What to Look for During a Mid-Year Home Health Checkup
  • Checklist: It’s Time for a Home Checkup

    Give your home a quick assessment halfway through the year.

    With warmer weather comes stronger odors, and if you notice a funny smell coming from your sink, it may be time to clean the garbage disposal.

    • Spring cleaning is in the past and winter hibernation preparations are far off into the future, but that doesn’t mean home maintenance comes to a halt. As you head into the middle of the year, give yourself a little DIY home inspection by asking these seven questions and create a home maintenance plan.

      Which way should my fan turn in the summer?

      Most fans feature a switch that allows you to change the rotation direction of the blades. In the summer, you want them to move counterclockwise, which distributes cool air down and out, rather than pulling it up—as it does when the fan is set to turn clockwise in the winter*.

      Are my windows clean?

      With the weather in your favor, summer is the perfect time to wash the windows. You’ll be able to remove any leaf remnants from fall, dirty snow streaks from winter and pollen buildup from spring. Start early in the morning to avoid too-hot-to-touch glass.

      How can I clean the garbage disposal?

      With warmer weather comes stronger odors, and if you notice a funny smell coming from your sink, it may be time to clean the garbage disposal. To do so, simply freeze white vinegar in ice cube trays, then run a couple down the disposal—the vinegar will freshen the scent, and the ice will help sharpen the blades.

      I cleaned my gutters in the fall—do I need to do it again?

      Cleaning your gutters twice a year is a good rule to follow. In late spring/early summer, you’ll be able to rid them of pollen, flower petals and seeds that likely got packed down from springtime rain showers.

      Do I have any cracks?

      If you do, you could be inviting unwelcome critters into your home and wasting energy**. Take a walk around the exterior and interior of your house to check for cracks, and apply caulk where needed to keep bugs out and cool air in.

      How can I keep my refrigerator running smoothly?

      Since your refrigerator is constantly running, it’s important to clean the coils at least once a year—preferably the beginning of summer, before temperatures spike and the unit works its hardest. You can vacuum the coils, or find refrigerator coil brushes at most hardware stores.

      When was the last time I changed the furnace filter?

      If you’re not thinking about your furnace in the summer, you should be. Even in the warmer months, your home’s air flows through the filter, and if it’s gunked up with pollen, dust and other pollutants, your heating and cooling system won’t run as efficiently. Make sure you’re keeping up with filter changes at least every three months.


      * Energy Star

      ** U.S. Department of Energy