Friday, April 5, 2013

Who Else Wants to Spring Clean?! ...Maybe...

...No?  Not so excited?  Yeah...We get it.
Truth be told, we're probably more likely to stop at cleaning out our closets and leave those dark and unseen places untouched.  But, if you're ever planning on selling your home then keeping it in tip-top condition is extremely important.  Put in the effort now and reap the benefits later.  To help motivate your inner… janitor… we've compiled a short list of areas and appliances that may require maintenance and a little elbow grease.

1)  Change your furnace filer.  If you use an inexpensive disposable filter, which usually costs less than $5, you should swap it out every 1-2 months.  A slightly higher-end disposable filter should be changed after about 4 months.  If you use a reusable, or non disposable, filter you should clean it monthly.  Also note that if you have a large home, pets, or suffer from allergies you may need to change the filter more frequently.
And a special safety tip: make sure you turn off the furnace before changing the filter!

2)  Check the attic.  Muster your courage, take a peak up there, and survey the space.  Look for signs that an animal has made itself at home.  If you suspect you may have an unwanted house-guest call a professional to have it removed.  While you’re up there, be sure to check for moisture, mildew, and water stains.  All air vents need to be clear of nests and debris. Any air leaks around chimney stacks, duct work, and light fixtures should be plugged, and (fun fact) the attic temp should stay within 10 degrees of your home’s temperature at all times.

3)  Prepare your Sump Pump: We’re entering the rainy season, so take the time to make sure your sump pump is ready.  First and foremost, check the outlet to make sure the pump is plugged-in.  Having a back-up system is a wise choice in case of power outage or pump failure, but you’ll need to check it monthly to be sure it is always fully functional.  Experts also recommend cleaning dirt and debris from the pit, checking your float, and making sure the pump hasn't tipped.  Properly maintaining your sump pump will ensure it is functioning efficiently and help it last longer, so don’t be afraid to do a little research on more extensive maintenance that can be done.

Now we’ll move on to some of those forgotten areas that should be cleaned.  Without getting into the dirty details how and why, here is a list of places and things in your home that you should consider scouring.

This would be a good time to grab your rubber gloves and put a new bag in the vacuum...

1) Ceiling fans
2) Draperies and blinds
3) Oven & stove
4) Closet floors
5) Dishwasher
6) Behind appliances
7) Computer keyboards
8) Door knobs & light switches
9) Inside of drawers & cabinets
10) Mattresses

Remember: If you’re unsure how to do something, think you may be in over your head, or simply need an expert opinion- Ask! Local experts are always willing to help, so don’t be shy.  

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