Replace Alarm Batteries
Don't forget to change the batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector! You should be testing both alarms every month and changing the batteries twice a year. A good time to change the batteries is when the time changes. Just remember, "change your clocks, change your batteries," and you will be all set!
Vacuum Refrigerator Coils
When your refrigerator coils are dirty, your fridge does not operate as efficiently, meaning it needs to work hard to maintain the correct temperature. Cleaning your refrigerator coils is an easy and quick task that could save you some money on your energy bill. The coils will either be on the back of the refrigerator or under it. You will probably need to move the fridge away from the wall to locate them. Now unplug the fridge and get to work! Firmly but cautiously run a brush attachment or crevice tool on your vacuum along the coils to clean as much gunk off as possible. Plug the fridge back in and move it back to its spot. It's as easy and quick as that!
Clean Lint Trap
We all know to clean our dryer's lint trap often, but how well are you cleaning yours? For a thorough clean, remove the lint screen and vacuum any small bits of lint that may be leftover. Then, wash the lint trap screen with warm water and soap. While it is drying, vacuum the slot the lint trap slides into. Use a long, narrow extension on your vacuum to reach as far down as possible. After this, go ahead and give your dryer hose a cleaning. You will need to move the dryer away from the wall and then remove the clamp on the end of the hose that connects it to the dryer. Vacuum the lint that is in the hose and the dryer. Don’t forget to follow the dryer hose to the exterior vent to get it completely cleaned. While you have the dryer pulled out, it’s a good time to pull the washing machine out as well to check the washing machine hose. If the hose ruptures, it can cause lots of damage. So, if you notice any blisters, bubbles, cracks, discoloration, or any other signs that it could burst, you will need to replace the hose.
Who doesn't enjoy opening their windows for a fresh spring breeze? Screens are intended to keep bugs out, which they can’t do if they have holes or tears. Inspect all of your screens and repair any imperfections you might find (most hardware stores will have screen repair kits).
Drain Water Heater
Did you know you should routinely drain your water heater? How often you should drain it will depend on your individual water tank. It is important to consult your water heater manual for specifics however, the general guidelines will remain the same. You will need a hose with a rubber gasket to drain your water heater. The first thing you will need to do is turn off the power and water to the water heater. Once the tank has cooled, connect the hose to the drain valve (the spigot at the bottom of the tank) and run the other end to a place where it’s safe to drain the water. After connecting the hose, turn on a hot water faucet somewhere in your home (this will act as a relief valve), then turn on the drain spigot on the tank and let it run until it is empty. When the water is no longer running through the hose, turn the water tank back on while the drain spigot is open to remove any remaining sediment that may still be stuck. Once the water runs clear from the end of the hose, close the valve to allow the tank to fill back up. Don’t forget to turn off the faucet in the house. When the water heater tank is full, turn the power to the water heater back on.
Reseal Exterior Woodwork
Prolong the life of your outdoor wooden structures (decks, fences, railings, etc.) by staining and resealing them every year or two. It’s also an excellent time to make any needed repairs.
Schedule Air Conditioning Service
Consider getting your HVAC checked every year. New HVAC systems are pricey, and it might be easier and cheaper to fix something, especially if you catch it early. This is not a DIY project, you will need to contact a professional.
Check Water Pressure
Everybody loves having good water pressure. But did you know you can have too much water pressure? High water pressure can be hard on plumbing lines and fixtures and possibly even cause blowouts in flex lines or washing machine hoses. The good news is you can test this quickly and easily! You’ll need a pressure gauge that you can pick up at a hardware store (some homes may already have dedicated gauges hooked up somewhere in the waterline!). Connect the gauge to an outdoor spigot. Turn off all water in the house, including dishwashers, washing machines, and automatic ice makers. Turn the faucet with the gauge all the way on and read the pressure. Typical wat pressure should be in the 40 -50 psi range and should not exceed 60 psi. If it does, contact a plumber for assistance.
Clean Gutters & Downspouts
Gutters funnel rainwater runoff away from your foundation. Clogged gutters and downspouts don’t allow for proper drainage and could cause potential damage. Use heavy-duty gloves to clean leaves and other debris out of your gutters. Once cleared, use a hose to run water through downspouts to check for blockages you may have missed. This will also help you notice if the gutters are leaking. After clearing the gutter, check that it’s secure and isn’t loose anywhere.
Check the Structure of Your House
- Attic: It is best to inspect your attic during the day when there is plenty of daylight so you can spot cracks where sunlight may be peaking in. Even small cracks can lead to significant issues. If you notice large cracks, call a professional to investigate further. After completing that, use a flashlight and check for signs of moisture, leaks, or rot, as well as potential signs of pests. Finally, if your attic has insulation, make sure it is dry and in good condition.
- Foundation: Examine your foundation. You are looking to see if it has developed any long cracks or if your house has shifted. These are signs of damage, and you should call a professional to have it assessed.
- Roof: Check your roof for loose or cracked tiles or even missing tiles. Take note of any excessive wear and tear, worn spots, or warps. While you are on the roof, clear away any branches or debris that may have landed up there.
Balance Garage Door
An often overlooked chore is making sure your garage door is balanced. Having a balanced garage door makes it safer to operate, allows it to work better, and can extend the life of your remote opening system. To test the balance of your garage door, you will need to start with it closed. Once closed, disengage the remote door opener. Then, manually open the door halfway and let go. If the door is balanced, it will remain half-opened. If the door falls, it has too little tension, and if it continues to move up, it has too much tension. If you discover that your garage door is unbalanced, call a professional to fix it.
Check for Termites
Termites become more active as the weather warms up. Keep an eye out for these annoying pests beginning in March and lasting through summer. A sign of termites might be a bunch of winged insects flying out of a hole in woodwork. Other signs include discolored or drooping drywall, peeling paint that looks like water damage, stuck windows or doors, and mounds of dry wood termite pellets (this will look like small piles of salt). If you notice any suspicious activity, contact pest control immediately.