It’s been another long, cold winter and now that the days are growing warmer, it’s that time again! Spring housecleaning is just around the corner. This year, why not compile a checklist so that you don’t miss anything you should have seen to. There are a number of ways you can organize your list, but what seems to work best for most families is to separate the interior chores from exterior clean-up and repair. Here is a basic idea of how you can segment your spring housecleaning and repair checklist.
Furnace, Boilers and Air Conditioners
The reason why furnace, boilers and air conditioners are listed first is simply a matter of convenience. What many homeowners don’t realize is that it is easiest to hire HVAC specialists on what is considered to be an off-season. If you wait until the heat of the summer to have your air conditioning unit checked out and recharged if necessary, you may be waiting in a very long line. Emergency repairs are handled in order and all other optional service calls are scheduled around those.
You’ve just endured an extremely cold winter and in order to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, you may have lit a fire in the fireplace or perhaps you ran your central heat at higher temperatures than normal and for longer periods of time. Most people are so happy to have the cold finally subside that they cast aside any thoughts of their heating system until it becomes necessary in the late autumn months down the road.
This is going to be the busiest time for heating professionals so have your chimneys cleaned of creosote now and have your HVAC system serviced now as well. This is the time you will not be using it, so at the very least, use your time wisely. Schedule home heating repairs now so as to avoid a lengthy wait later when other homeowners realize their furnace isn’t working and are in a long line of homeowners in similar straits.
Roof – Including Gutter System
There are actually two times a year when it is best to check out the roofing system which is inclusive of the gutters. In the autumn when the leaves begin turning colors and dropping from trees, they invariably land in gutters, clogging it up. Homeowners will typically have their gutters cleaned and examined towards the very end of fall, prior to the first significant snowfall of the season.
The second time it is wise to examine the gutters and the roofing structure is after the danger of freezing temperatures has passed and before local trees go into bloom. There is always a chance that broken limbs and smaller branches that overhang the home can work their way into gutters, again clogging them up or worst case scenario, puncturing holes which result in leaks.
Remember, the purpose of keeping your gutters clean and free from puncture holes is to prevent spill-off making it into the timber and beams that form the structure of the building. Mold and mildew can create hazards in a number of ways, not limited to respiratory issues. After a time, that moisture can cause the timber to rot, potentially resulting in irreparable damage to the foundation and structure. A good rule of thumb is to always check the roof and gutter at least once a year in late autumn, but again at the end of winter is also advisable.
Windows – Interior and Exterior
While there are some homeowners who are compulsive about keeping their windows cleaned, others leave it until the grime film is so thick you can barely see through the panes of glass. One way to avoid this is to make it a standard practice of cleaning interior and exterior windows twice a year. If you plan it as part of the schedule for inspecting the roof for loose shingles and the gutters for debris and/or holes, it will become routine and rarely overlooked.
Also, cleaning the windows thoroughly both inside and out helps you inspect for any cracks where air can get in or escape from within. Did you know that one of the biggest energy hogs is heat/air loss due to leaks in and around window and door frames? Make it a standard practice to thoroughly clean your windows and check for potential leaks at the same time. You will be amazed at just how much energy you can save this way, and it sure is nice to be able to see what’s going on out there in the world!
Packing It Up Until Autumn
Finally, you will want to take down drapes and blinds to either wash and re-hang or take out seasonal draperies that have been cleaned and stored over the winter. Not only will you get that musty smell out of your home from cooking and living odors that have accumulated after having the house all shut up over the long, cold season but you can also get a whole new look with seasonal changes in color.
If you get in the habit of going through this checklist twice a year in addition to your routine ‘spring cleaning,’ you will not only have a home that is sparkling clean but also devoid of problem areas that should be repaired sooner rather than later. Don’t let problems get out of hand. Inspect during spring cleaning and save yourself time and headaches that could have been avoided.
Disclosure: This is a featured article