For many homeowners, spring is the time of year when they dig out of the snow and out of the clutter they’ve built up in their homes over the cold winter months.
Spring is also a great time to start a home maintenance checklist so that you can keep your home safe, secure and issue-free as the weather starts warming up.
Checking on your home’s plumbing, electrical systems, exterior and heating and cooling systems is just as important as scheduling your own yearly checkup with the doctor. Knowing the state of your systems and if repairs may be on the horizon saves you money and keeps these essential items from breaking down when they’re needed the most.
Here is a list of items that should be included or added to your spring maintenance checklist:
- Clean or replace the air filter. Filters can get dusty even when the system is not in use. So, if you replaced the filter for your air conditioning system at the end of the last summer season, you need to make sure it hasn’t gotten dirty over the course of the winter. If your home has an HVAC system for both heating and air conditioning, you should have been replacing the filters at least every three months during the colder seasons.
- Vacuum registers and vents. The best way to prevent the buildup of dust and debris into your system’s ductwork is to regularly clean the registers and vents. Taking the covers off and vacuuming down into the vent gets rid of the hair, pet dander and dirt that have fallen down into your ducts.
- Schedule an air conditioning tune–up. Regular, yearly maintenance on your air conditioning system keeps it running at its most efficient and can pinpoint potential problems so they can be fixed before the hottest days of the years. This should be repeated in the fall on your heating system.
- Clean faucet aerators and showerheads. These items build up mineral deposits and should be cleaned once or twice a year to keep the water flowing smoothly.
- Have your plumbing inspected. Many homeowners forget about their plumbing when it’s not clogged or leaking. But, if you have an older home or haven’t had your plumbing inspected for years, it’s a good idea to have your system checked for leaks, grease build-up and corrosion. You should also consider having any galvanized pipes removed and replaced with PVC or copper.
- Test alarms. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have working batteries. Spring is also a good time to test your fire extinguisher.
- Inspect your circuit breaker box. This small powerhouse also needs regular maintenance so that it doesn’t accidentally short out during an electrical storm and cause a fire.
- Perform an exterior inspection. Spring is a good time to get out of the house and walk around your home. Check the foundation for cracks, make sure the roof doesn’t have missing or damaged shingles and make sure doors and windows are secure and that your weather stripping is still in good shape.
- Check your sump pump. Flooding can be a common occurrence during the spring. If you have a sump pump to protect your home from water, spring is a good time to make sure it is running correctly and that the battery backup is ready for any power outages.
Winter is hard on a home. Cold weather can cause cracks to form, destroy roofs and can push your heating system to the limits.
Making sure your home’s comfort systems are in good working order improves their efficiency, which helps you save money on repairs and utility costs.
Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, this checklist can help you stay safe and cool all summer long.