Home maintenance may not be the most fun way to spend a weekend, but you’ll save yourself serious time and money by tackling these jobs annually. Here’s a handy checklist for the spots every homeowner needs to pay attention to this spring.
1. INSPECT THE EXTERIOR OF YOUR HOME
That means checking the roof for damage, examining the chimney (get the flue cleaned by a certified chimney sweep) and looking at the surrounding concrete for any signs of cracks or movement. Also make sure to inspect the house itself for paint chips and holes, or anything else that needs repairing.
2. DO A SAFETY CHECK
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (refer to the manual for how to do this) and make sure that your fire extinguisher is in working order. Now, you should actually be doing all of this monthly, but if you aren’t, then now’s the perfect time.
3. CLEAN OUT YOUR GUTTERS
It’s time to get rid of leaves and debris from the previous season and ensure that there’s nothing obstructing your gutters so that water can flow smoothly.
4. CHECK YOUR AC
Now’s the time to make sure that your air conditioner is in good condition (not when it’s the first day of summer and a sweltering 100 degrees). Filters should be changed on a regular basis, and you want to make sure that your unit is nice and clean and will operate more efficiently. If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning and servicing your unit yourself, or if there were problems with the AC last summer, then call in a licensed heating and cooling professional.
5. CHECK FOR AIR LEAKS AND SEAL WINDOWS
Now that you’ve checked your AC, make sure all that wonderful, cool air stays inside by getting rid of drafts. You can just use your hand to determine if there’s a breeze coming in. There’s no need to get fancy—for less than $5, you can tape up any spots with window weatherstrip tape where you detect an air leak.