As winter tapers off, many homeowners gear up to give their homes a thorough spring cleaning to welcome in the warmer weather. While that may mean a lot of dusting, polishing, washing and organizing, it is also important to address the systems in a home that may otherwise get overlooked.
Here are three simple, yet important, areas of the home to keep in mind during this year’s spring-cleaning:
- Check on the HVAC System
A home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system requires a filter replacement every few months to maintain clean airflow throughout the home.
This is especially important after the winter months when filters can become clogged from increased air pollution caused by months of closed windows and doors keeping typical dust, dirt and pet dander trapped inside. A clean air filter extends a furnace’s life, lowers energy bills and improves indoor air quality. It can also significantly improve spring allergy symptoms, which can start as early as February.
To change the filter, simply turn off the HVAC system, remove the old filter and replace it with a new one, then turn the system back on. Consult your furnace manual for the recommended filter type and size. Include the date on the new filter to keep track of the time in between changes.
- Review Home Safety Systems
Like any electrical systems, home safety systems should be periodically tested to ensure they are in proper working order. This includes a home alarm system, carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors. As simple as they may be to overlook, these devices can quickly turn into life-saving gadgets in an emergency — and they must be maintained in order to do so.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested monthly by pressing the test button and waiting for a beep, and smoke detectors should be tested with actual smoke every six months. All detectors should also be cleaned and batteries should be changed every six months to prevent them from running low. Smoke and CO detectors should be changed out every 10 years.
Prior to completing a monthly test to your home’s alarm system, be sure to alert the home monitoring company and activate the system in test mode. To test, open and close every door and window and walk in front of every motion sensor. The alarm should also be retested after any work is done either outside the home (like a cable installation) or on the home itself, as sensors may have been moved out of alignment.
- Give the Kitchen a Thorough Cleansing
While most people clean kitchens on a daily or weekly basis, there are some areas in need of a deeper clean that tend to get overlooked. For example, if your kitchen has an over-the-range microwave, the range hood filter and fan should be cleaned periodically to remove the accumulated grease and grime. Start by wiping down the dirt with a citrus-based cleaner then remove the grease filter from the fan. The filter can be cleaned with hot soapy water or a run through the dishwasher. Also wipe down the fan blades if they can be reached – making sure the power is turned off beforehand.
The stove can be given a deep clean by addressing the burners, drip pans and knobs and the oven can be gently refreshed with baking soda and water. Lastly, use citrus cleaner to remove grease buildup from the cabinets surrounding the stove.
To find a local, experienced home inspector near you, visit WIN Home Inspection.