Important Spring Cleaning Tips

March 04, 2010

Spring cleaning is a tradition to most of us.  We usually think of cleaning windows, cabinets and carpets.  These are chores that are part of our regular spring cleaning routine, but in order to keep your house in tip-top shape, don't forget to include an annual check-up for your systems. 

Below are some important Spring Cleaning reminders you might not typically think of.

  • Schedule an air conditioning tune-up at the beginning of the season.  This will ensure that your a/c system is not only working reliably, but also efficiently and safely.
  • Don't forget to check and replace air conditioning filters every month.  There are several types from which to choose, depending upon your needs.  Fiberglass filters only last one month.  HEPA filters can last up to six months and can be cleaned with a vacuum nozzle.
  • Most air conditioners have a drainage hole on the base of the cabinet (beneath the evaporator fins).  This hole needs to be kept clear in order for the air conditioner to work properly.  It's a good idea each spring to use a paper clip or wire to poke through the hole to clear it.  During a scheduled a/c tune-up a technician will take care of this.
  • To keep a dehumidifier working properly, remove its housing and let the unit dry completely.  Vacuum every accessible surface and crevice.
  • Clean your bathroom fans once a year.  Take the cover off, wash it in soapy water and clean dirt off the fan blades with a toothbrush.  Be sure the power is off when you do this!
  • Check the flappers on your toilets at least once a year.  If they are showing their age, replace them before they star leaking and wasting water.  If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, contact a plumber.
  • Remove all faucet handles and clean their insides to keep the screws from corroding.  Use a rust remover if necessary.
  • Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year; when the time changes to daylight savings time and then back to standard time.  While you're at it dust or vacuum the detector to keep them working at peak performance.
  • Inspect, and if necessary, caulk around your home's windows and doors annually.  This will help keep out heat and humidity in the summer (and cold drafts in the winter) and save you money on your utility bills year round. 
  • The best time to caulk a joint outdoors is during the spring or fall.  That's when the width of the joint is halfway between its seasonal extremes. 
  • Open and close all windows.  Do they open easily and close tightly?  If not, check the weather stripping.
  • Clean out the gutters of winter debris and check them for damage from ice. 
  • To prevent basement flooding, make sure that there is a least three feet between the side of the house and the downspout's outlet. 
  • To prevent foundation erosion as well as basement flooding, build up soil around the house and slope it away from the foundation.

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Last Updated: June 04, 2024