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- Clean dryer vents. Making sure your dryer vents, lines and screens are free of lint is extremely important because build-up in any of these places can cause a fire. Keeping your dryer safe is very simple – just a couple easy steps:
–Clean the lint out of the lint screen after every load of laundry.
–Regularly inspect the vent and vent lines to make sure they are free of debris and air is flowing freely.
- Change HVAC filters once per month. Changing air conditioner and heater filters monthly will save on energy costs, extend the life of your systems and keep the air clean for your family. To easily remember when to change them, try writing the date on the filter.
- Check batteries in smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms. These systems are in place to protect the health and safety of you and your family – and after all, what is more important than that? Make sure they are working at all times. Keep extra 9 volt and AA batteries around in case they need to be replaced.
- Maintain the septic tank. Your septic tank should be pumped every 3-5 years to avoid costly (and yucky) failures. If your septic system has a filter, it should be changed every 6-12 months. Most experts agree that adding bacteria or enzymes to the tank is not necessary if you maintain a good pumping schedule.
- Clean the condenser coils on your refrigerator. The most important refrigerator maintenance task is to clean the condenser coils at least every 3-6 months (more often if you have pets). When coils are dirty or dusty, your fridge has to work harder, which means higher power bills and shorter life expectancy. Keeping the coils clean can improve your refrigerator’s efficiency by up to 30%! The coils are located either on the back of the unit or underneath it, or behind a grill on the bottom front of the fridge. Use an old cloth or vacuum to clean dust and dirt from the coils. Also make sure your water line for your ice maker is the up-graded flex tubing.
- Do a walk-around. Regularly inspect the outside of the house to check for any alarming changes. This will head-off any significant cost or damage that results from ignored issues like cracks in the siding, insect nests, flooding in low-lying areas, damage to outside electrical or plumping lines, sinking foundation or any other changes observed on the outside of the house.
- Drain your water heater. Once per year, drain the water heater to keep it clean and operating at peak efficiency. Don’t forget to turn off power first.
- Check electrical circuits. Every 3-6 months you should check that all your electrical circuits are working properly by turning them off and then back on.
- Mind the gutters. This is a very simple task and one that goes a long way in maintaining the outside integrity of your home. A few times per year you should climb up on the ladder and get any twigs, leaves, and any other debris out of the gutters to ensure proper water flow. In the winter you should remove any large icicles to avoid damage to the gutters or the outside of the house.
- Keep things clean. Cleaning may seem like one of those things you can put off until you have time, but it should never be forgotten. Part of the “pride of ownership” is keeping the inside and the outside off your home clean and free of debris and general buildup of dirt, dust and other materials. Letting the place go without cleaning for any extended period of time will lead to rapid wear and tear all over your property.
- Mountain homes. Make sure you have a system for preventing ice dams (which will cause roof leakage), snow guards (to prevent sliding snow over walkways, etc.) and sliding snow on decks, hand rails, etc.