When the weather warms up and the sunshine gives us an extra bolt of energy, it's a good time to take care of those chores that were neglected all winter. Following a home maintenance schedule means you won't get hit with costly repair bills. Pick the first weekend in March or April every year to tend to all that needs doing and relax until winter approaches.
Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
To keep a well-maintained home, it's important to do some springtime maintenance.
Your Air Conditioner's Condenser
Check your air conditioner's condenser in spring and summer. Checking it is easy and takes just 10 minutes. Call a service professional if you find any problems. Working on it yourself will void the warranty, and you might accidentally release refrigerant into the atmosphere. In the long run, you'll save a lot of money.
Steps to checking your air conditioner:
- Turn the air conditioner on and while it's running, check the refrigerant lines. Look for crimping in the refrigerant lines. The insulation should be in good condition; no wear or cracks, and the tube should be cold. The smaller tube should be warm to touch along the entire length.
- Check to see if the condensing unit is slanted using a carpenters level.
- Cut back any plants near the air conditioning unit to improve airflow.
- When you mow, shut off your air conditioner to prevent clippings from getting sucked into the condenser. Always point the lawnmower discharge away from the condenser to avoid throwing stones and other objects into the condenser's aluminum fins.
Water Heater Maintenance
Take 15 minutes to flush any sediment from your hot water heater. Mineral deposits from hard water collect over time reducing the units efficiency. It limits the amount of available hot water and lowers the water temperature and possibly the water pressure.
If the water heater is electric, shut off the circuit breakers or pull the fuses. Turn the gas valve to the pilot position on a gas water heater. If your water heater is oil-fired turn off the power to the burner.
Wear rubber gloves to prevent burns while you attach a hose to the water heater drain valve. You can find the drain valve on the side of the water heater. It looks like an outdoor faucet. Place the opposite end of the hose near a floor drain or attach additional hoses and feed it outside. Open the drain valve and drain the water until it runs clear. Turn off the drain valve, detach the hose from the drain valve and lift the end of the hose draining out any hot water that's left.
Fall back spring forward. When daylight savings time kicks in, it's time to replace all of the batteries in the smoke detectors. This insures that they won't malfunction when a fire emergency occurs.