After the brutal winter that we had here in North Central Ohio, we thought we’d never get to say this, but summer is right around the corner. We’re finally at a point in spring where leaving the windows open to let some fresh air in is actually an option on some days. Since we’re finally getting to where we can walk around outside without four or more layers, let’s go over some things that we can do to help prepare our house for the warming weather.
- Spring Cleaning
Spring Cleaning is a long-held tradition that needs to be done. While we’re certain that it’s not a tradition that many of us like, its necessity goes beyond just making things look nice. When your house has been closed up for three or more months – like it is here in the Mansfield Area – a lot of things go on in your house that can actually become harmful to you, your family, or your pets. One of the biggest issues is mold buildup. Here’s one of the least fun facts you’ll ever read about mold: mold prefers to grow in temperature that humans find comfortable. In the winter time, that would be in our house. Normally in a very moist area of the home, such as a bathroom or basement.
- Set Ceiling Fans to Turn Counter-Clockwise
Most ceiling fans have a switch to change the direction in which they’re spinning, but there has always been a lot of confusion about when the fan should be turning which direction. During warmer months, you want your fan moving in a counter-clockwise rotation as you look straight up at it. This forces the air down from the ceiling, and causes a nice breeze to enjoy underneath. The warmer it is, the faster your fan should be moving.
- Air Conditioning Tune-Up
Your air conditioning unit is one of the hardest working, and most abused appliances you own. Ohio has some extreme weather conditions. Between the A/C being cranked during the summer, then whatever Mother Nature throws at it during winter, your air conditioning unit is going to likely need some work before the summer ramps up again. It’s certainly not something that you’d want to wait on, either. By the time it hits 95°F, with 85% humidity, your air conditioner should be fully functional, and running as efficient as possible.
- Inspect for Damage
Old Man Winter can be brutal. Ice storms, high winds, and a constant deluge of snow can do a lot of damage to the exterior of your house. Siding, roofing, fascia, and gutters can all take a beating, but sometimes there is a point reached where they just can’t take any more. What you’re looking for may not be large chunks falling off of your house, but instead look for cracks and imperfections. If they aren’t fixed in a proper and timely manner, by next spring, there may be full pieces missing.
- Change Furnace Filter
Now is the time of year to change your furnace filter. You may wonder why, considering that the furnace will likely not get too much use before the weather cools down again. That’s actually the reason why. It’s a small maintenance piece that can yield great results, but it’s very easily forgotten about, as you trek through the warmer months. If your furnace comes back on in October, for example, and the filter hasn’t been changed, you will almost immediately notice the smell. It’s musty and smells very much like dirt. That’s not the kind of smell you want greeting your house the first time you have to have the doors closed in the fall.
- Clean Windows
Many people fail to realize the impact that clean windows have on the overall appearance of a house. This goes for looking at it from the inside and the outside.
- Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
We can never stress enough that the safety of you and your loved ones is the most important thing that you should ever be worried about. The general rule of thumb is to check and replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors twice per year. The best time to do it is when you set your clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time or back for Standard Time.
- Open Crawl Space Vents
It is argued at times that crawl space vents should stay closed, to keep out bugs in the summer and ensure that in the winter pipes don’t freeze in the winter. However, in the summertime, it’s extremely important to open your crawl space vents. The main reason why is to ensure that the crawl space doesn’t collect moisture. This can lead to rotting wood in your flooring, which could have been prevented. While opening your vents, do a quick inspection of any exposed joists or subflooring that you can see. Also, ensure that you’re using a screen on your vent to help keep bugs and rodents out.
- Clean Refrigerator Condenser Coils
With its constant on-again-off-again cycle, a refrigerator is a heavy worker in your kitchen. One way to keep your fridge running efficiently is to pull it out once or twice per year and clean off the condenser coils. Any dust that settles on the coils keep the refrigerator from working as efficiently, because it’s not able to transfer heat as well. Be very careful while cleaning the condenser coils. Any damage that’s done could result in costly repairs. There are tools made especially for cleaning condenser coils. Check with your refrigerator manufacturer on how to get to your coils and what tool would be appropriate to use. If the coils on your refrigerator are on the rear of unit, you should be able to pull it out from the wall and simply use a soft bristled broom.
- Clean Dryer Vent
A clogged dryer vent can cause multiple issues. Properly cleaning your dryer vent can save you energy costs on drying your clothes. More importantly than that, you remove a significant amount of danger when you clean out the vent. Most clothes dryer fires are caused by lint buildup within the dryer. Most often this can be avoided by cleaning the hose and vent outside of the dryer, to ensure that airflow continues from the dryer all the way outside.
- Clean Gutters
Cleaning out your gutters is one of the most important chore that you can do to help keep the foundation of your house on solid ground – so to speak. When your gutters are full of leaves, dirt, and other debris, rainwater doesn’t have a place to properly run off. As the gutters fill, without draining into the downspout, it instead overflows off the edge of the gutters. You want the water that’s coming off of your roof to be drained further away from your foundation, because the dripping rainwater, from a clogged gutter, erodes the soil that your foundation relies on for support. While cleaning your gutters, make sure to inspect for any cracks, rusting, or splitting seams.
- Trim Branches Approaching the House
We love to have trees and other shrubbery for shade, fruit, and the aesthetics that it adds to our homes. But one thing to be certain of is that as nice as they are to have around, if left untrimmed, damage could be cause to your house, fencing, or any other object that it is growing next to. Wind makes branches move, and they will inevitably start to rub up against anything they’re near if left untrimmed.
Once you’ve had a chance to take care of some basic home maintenance in the spring time, it should help create more time and less hassle, so you can enjoy your summer!