Friday, March 6, 2015

Spring Cleaning

Shake Off the Winter Blues and Get Ready for Spring!
Now that we are coming to the end of winter, it is a great time to start thinking of how to prepare your home for the upcoming spring season. So, fling open those windows, break out the scrub brushes and let’s get busy!

Display some greenery – Not only do live plants add a nice touch, they can also improve the air quality indoors. While there is a wide variety to choose from, some of the best include English Ivy, Peace Lily, Spider Plant and Chinese Evergreen. Your best course of action, when choosing the right plants, is researching the qualities you are looking for. Good resources include the internet, local library or simply asking at local nursery/florist.

Replace your air filter(s) –
The air filter is what helps to keep dirt and debris from entering your home through your HVAC system, allowing air to flow more freely. If the filter builds up too much dirt, it causes your system to put in much more effort to cool off your home warmer months, resulting in higher energy bills. Read your product’s recommendation for frequency as well as required size.

Check the screens –
This is the perfect time of year to evaluate the screens on your windows. Screens allow for you to keep your windows open on a regular basis, giving your AC a break while also letting out some of that built up stale air. In addition to basic cleaning, also inspect the screens for any signs of damage and replace them as soon as possible to keep bugs out.

Test your home’s detectors –
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors are one of the most valuable assets to your home, and ensuring they are work properly, should be one of your top priorities. It is recommended that you test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a month and replace their batteries twice a year. A good rule to follow is to change the batteries when you change your clocks.

Get fresh air flowing –
Now that you’ve checked all those screens, you can leave those windows open and get some fresh air circulating through the home. In addition to letting Mother Nature do her job, why not give her a hand with the use of some ceiling fans. If you already have some, dust them off and rotate the fans to run counterclockwise. By changing up the rotation of the blades, you allow the fan to push the hot air downwards to mix with the cooler air below.

Brighten up your living spaces –
Now is the perfect time of year to give your home a more light, spring feeling. Here are some simple ways to achieve that goal without breaking the bank:
     *  Put blankets in the dryer with a softener and no heat
     *  Fluff up your pillows
     *  Rearrange your furniture, sometimes a new perspective really opens things up.
     *  Switch out your accent pillows to something brighter
     *  Put out lighter linens
     *  Clean the curtains
     *  Deep clean your carpets or polish your floors

Get your roof ready –
Now that the snow has melted away, it’s the perfect time to take a good, close look at your roof. Inspect it thoroughly for any cracked, broken or missing shingles. Additionally, take this time, while up there, to get gutters and downspouts clean and working properly.

Clean your refrigerator –
Your fridge is one of the most important appliances you own, especially in the summer (how else will you keep those party snacks and beverages cold)? Be sure to set aside a bit of time to freshen it up:
     *  Remove any stale or old food
     *  Wipe down all of the shelves, drawers and doors with a mild soapy solution. It is important to hand dry these items, as they are not dishwasher safe. Make sure to dry thoroughly before putting any items back in
     *  Place a carton of baking powder on one of the shelves to help keep your fridge fresh.
     *  This would also be a good time to contact the manufacturer and inquire about how to clean the  coils properly.

Get the outdoors in shape –
As the weather warms up and you are spending more time outdoors, this would be a great opportunity to catch up on some outside maintenance. Here are a few good places to start:
     *Clean and condition your grill
     *  Organize your garage
     *  Pressure wash your deck and/or patio furniture
     *  Sweep off walkways and steps
     *  Replace your outdoor lighting with energy efficient bulbs

Check your HVAC system ahead of time –
Have a certified professional check your heat and air conditioning system now before the heat sets in. This way, you can ensure that there will be no down time when you really need it most.

Turn off humidifiers/adjust HVAC Dampers –
With the weather warming up and more moisture in the air, it is important to remember to make these changes. Not only will it prevent your HVAC system from working properly, it could also end up costing you money in the long run.

What spring cleaning tips do you have?