If you’re anything like me, a list may be at the top of my “tool box” to get anything done. Without it, it’s hard to even remember everything that needs to be done to keep a house in order, so this week I thought I’d give everyone a guide to keep everything in order for the spring. We’re splitting it into two parts, so be sure to look out for Part Two next week!
Inspect, and possibly change out HVAC filters. Many experts will say to change the filters monthly, but that’s not always necessary. For smaller families without pets or allergies, you’ll likely be okay changing the filters every two to three months. If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month. I’ve also been told by professionals to go with cheaper filters and replace them more often versus going with the expensive filters.
Clean kitchen sink disposal. There are a bunch of ways to do this, (check out Rockaway Times archives for the entire article) but the handiest and best all-around solution seems to be vinegar ice cubes. Put some vinegar in an ice tray and let it freeze, then run the ice cubes through the disposal. It freshens it, but as a bonus, ice sharpens the blades. You’re welcome.
Inspect your fire extinguisher(s). We’ll assume that you already know how to use a fire extinguisher. Maintaining it really doesn’t require much on a yearly basis. There is usually a dial on it to show you it is pressurized. Make sure it has proper pressure. Also make sure that it is easily accessible and nothing is blocking it.
Test smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. Another simple task; your detectors should have a “test” button. If the alarm sounds, you’re good to go. If not, replace batteries immediately and test again. If it still doesn’t sound, it’s possible there’s simply corrosion on the battery terminal, and it won’t detect new batteries. Clean it and try again. If it still doesn’t work, you’ll likely need a new detector.
Test garage door auto-reverse feature. In 1993, federal law required all garage doors to have this feature after multiple child deaths. Test every month by placing a 2×4 on the ground where the door would close. It should reverse after a second or so when the door hits the wood. Also test the photoelectric sensors, if you have them, by placing something in front of them (not your body). If the door doesn’t immediately go back up, you have a problem.
Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces. This mostly applies to guest bathrooms, or any other sinks/water sources you don’t use on a regular basis. The idea is to prevent grime or any other kind of build up. Regularly running a little bit of water through will prevent this.
Give your house a deep clean. Take one Saturday every six months with your whole family, and give the whole house a proper deep clean. Appliances, windows, dusting every nook and cranny (including the basement), etc. Keeping things clean and not letting dirt/grime/dust build up over years and years will help keep your home in tip-top shape.
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