It's warming up across the country and as we head into summer some of those home-improvement things might get put on hold as we focus more on the landscaping and we do on the house itself. But just because its summer doesn't mean you should skip these essential home maintenance tasks. Regardless of the time a year, these are things to do on a regular basis, at least once or twice a year. Here's my list of the things that you should tackle during the summer.
#1. Deep clean the refrigerator.
If you are a neat freak or maybe a little OCD, you're probably doing this every week, but for the rest of us, myself included, I don't clean out the refrigerator as much as I should. Summer is a great time to do this as you've probably had leftover sauerkraut sitting in containers, excessive cans of tomato sauce that you've put into other freezer containers, or those vegetables that you bought because you promised yourself you would try something new and now you're not even sure what they are anymore. It's a good idea to clean out the entire refrigerator, every single shelf, clean it all down, wipe it down with an antibacterial spray or cleaner, and start throwing away things that are unidentifiable or you're just concerned about the health safety of your family but even having them in the house.
This is also a good time to create a menu and use up some of the things that have been cluttering your refrigerator for months. Maybe you didn't even know you had three open containers of Ketchup in there. Maybe it's time to make a fantastic barbecue sauce with some about Ketchup or combine bottles of similar condiments.
#2. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and CO detectors.
And, if you don't have any of these, it's time to get them. Regulations in most states require you to have a CO detector close to bedrooms and smoke detectors in every single room. Plus, you need to make sure that they work. A good way to do this is by holding up a lighter to the smoke detector to see if it goes off. Simply hitting the button every once in a while may not be a good enough test.
#3. Change out furnace and air conditioning filters.
Trust me on this one, once you look at how dirty your filter probably is, you'll be shocked to know that you've been breathing all of that stuff. It's time to change out those filters, maybe even get a service cleaning on some of these appliances, and be ready for the dog days of summer and be ready for winter when it does come.
#4. Deep clean your carpets.
This could mean getting a professional carpet cleaner or doing it yourself by renting a rug shampoo or from your local grocery store. It's important to clear out all the furniture, or as much as you can, and let the professionals do their job or get down and dirty with your own carpet cleaning regime. This is an important thing to do at least once a year for the health and safety of everyone in your family.
#5. Clean the showerheads.
This might be one of those overlooked areas that you've never cleaned but it's also one of the easiest. Simply put a rubber band over the top of the showerhead and fill a plastic bag with white vinegar. Attach the back to the showerhead with the rubber band so that the entire showerhead is submerged in the vinegar. Wait about an hour and then turn on the water to flush everything out.
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#6. Clean out clothes dryer vents.
This is one of the major sources of home fires and it's easily preventable. You want to clean it out about once a year depending on how often you use your dryer. It will make the dry run more efficiently, dryer close faster and keep your family safe. Because the lint that build-up in the dryer vent is extremely flammable, having it plugged can cause the elements to run out and cause fires.
#7. Check the roof.
Depending on where you live and if you have one story or two story home, you may have never checked the roof. But over the winter you may have lost tiles or shingles and is time to check the roof so that you don't end up with any leaks when the rain comes back.
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#8. Do an energy audit.
You can have people from your local utilities perform this audit or simply do it yourself. Check around any open doorways, windows or fireplaces for excessive leaks. Make sure you're not feeling any cold air coming through these areas and if so it might be time to redo the seal on these areas. You can cover up small little holes with electrical tape or re-caulk around doors and windows.
#9. Clean window and door tracks.
These are places that get overlooked very easily but over time, dirt, dust, and grime can slow down sliding door tracks and window tracks and create an unsightly appearance. It's time to get in there with a fine tooth comb and vacuum out any of the loose dirt and use a small wire brush to get the rest of it out. You'd be surprised at how free-flowing your doors will move now that it's clean.
#10. Do a pest inspection.
As the days warm up and's, spiders and other pests may find your home to be a nice, cool retreat. Make sure that you sealed any entrances from crawl spaces or attics and sprayed around the outside of the house. You could do this yourself or hire a professional but you and your family will be thankful for months afterward when there are no creepy crawlers joining you in your home.
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