CRITICAL Spring Cleaning chores

Okay, so nothing is probably CRITICAL with Spring cleaning but the tabloids like those types of words so I borrowed it – and this does not even cost half of what the National Enquirer does.

HVAC Checklist

Gear up for the summer’s heat waves with an air conditioner tune-up. Routine maintenance ensures optimal airflow, which lowers heating and cooling costs. Minor problems are easier to fix in the spring rather than waiting until scorching August temps strain your AC unit, leading to expensive repairs or a full replacement.

  • Remove debris and vegetation. Ensure winter storm debris does not cause any airflow blockages, which can strain the unit and spike energy bills.
  • Change air filters. At a minimum, you should change your air filter every three to six months. A dirty filter slows down airflow, causing your system to work overtime to keep your home cool, which increases energy costs.
  • Schedule a tune-up. Many reputable HVAC service centers offer seasonal savings on spring tune-ups. A professional will check your unit for potential problems and replace any aging parts, which helps prevent early system failure.

Home Exterior Checklist

An attractive exterior does a lot more than simply increase your home’s curb appeal. Paint seals wood, protecting it from the elements. Simple paint touch-ups can extend the average life of your siding by two to three years.

  • Check for peeling paint or siding. Take a walk around your house and look for any siding damage. It’s much more affordable to repaint your siding or trim now rather than wait until water entry has rotted the wood! If you own a brick home, the brickwork should be resealed every five to eight years.
  • Reseal your deck. Check for loose boards that may need replacement or resealing. If it’s been a few years since your deck’s last spring cleaning, consider power washing and resealing your deck.

Indoor Maintenance

Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition, an opportunity to sweep the cobwebs from your home, clear out the dust that accumulated during the winter and let the sunshine in. While you’re up to your elbows in soap, washing the windows, defrosting the refrigerator and tackling what seems to be a never-ending list of spring cleaning chores, you might as well make a maintenance checklist, too. On those warmer days, you may want to do the following:

Test and clean ceiling fans. According to the the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an efficient ceiling fan in each room you want to cool can help allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees Fahrenheit without reducing your comfort level.  Ceiling fans are not only a good way to air out the house and generate a cross-breeze, but they have the potential to help you save money on your energy bill. With ceiling fans keeping the house cool, you may not have to turn up the AC as high. So, now might be a good time to make sure your fans are clean and ready to start cooling you off this spring.

Replace torn or damaged window screens. If you don’t have an air conditioner, or if you simply like to keep the windows open in the spring and summer, it’s a good idea to make sure your screens are in good shape — you don’t want to let flies in with all that fresh air! Winter storms and wind can damage window screens, so it may be a good idea to assess any damage and replace what needs to be fixed.

Roof and Gutters Checklist

Did you know that the majority of home water damage actually occurs in the spring? Winter’s freeze-and-thaw cycles can shorten the life of gutters and drain spouts. If drainage is blocked, water from spring rains can pool up along your home’s foundation or roof-line, leading to serious structural damage.

  • Clean gutters and downspouts. After removing winter debris from your gutters, check for any blockages by tapping the side of the spout or by blowing air down your drain spout with a leaf blower. Air should flow easily and the drain spout will make a hollow sound. Drainage should be diverted at least three feet from your home’s foundation.
  • Check for missing or cracked shingles. While on your roof, visually check the condition of your shingles for curling, warping, cracking or cupping. If you notice any damage or missing shingles, you’ll want to hire a contractor to make repairs. Not sure if there’s a problem with your roof? Check your attic for leaks, moisture and mold.

Now it’s time for me to get to it before my wife notices I am blogging instead of cleaning…

jeffspring@allstate.com http://www.springfamilyinsuranceagency.com

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