You probably already take care of seasonal home improvement chores such as adding weatherstripping to the windows before winter. However, there are so many home maintenance tasks to stay on top of that it’s easy to overlook some of the most important ones. Here are four tasks you don’t want to ignore.
Clean the Dryer Vent
No matter how often you empty your dryer’s lint screen, some of the debris will escape to the dryer vent — the exhaust system that releases heat to the outside of your home. Without regular cleaning, the lint gradually builds up until the vents get clogged. When this happens, the dryer runs less efficiently and worse, becomes a fire hazard.
To keep your home safe, clean the dryer vent at least once a year. You’ll need to pull the unit away from the wall, disconnect the main power source, separate the vent from the dryer, and vacuum it. You can do this yourself or get help from a professional.
Lubricate the Garage Door Springs
It’s easy to forget about the garage since you probably don’t spend much time in this part of your home. However, using the garage door regularly takes its toll on the hinges and the torsion springs. Too much metal fatigue and corrosion will cause them to break, and you’ll have to buy a new door.
You can make your garage door last longer by lubricating the spring system, hinges, and rollers at least once a year. Clean the rails with a cloth, but don’t lubricate them. Keep in mind that WD-40 removes rust but is not a lubricant. Make sure to use a silicone-based lubricant or white lithium grease for the best results.
Replace the HVAC Filter
One of the simplest ways to keep your HVAC unit in good shape is to replace the filter every 90 days. If you have pets or a large number of people living at home, it’s a good idea to check it more often. When the filter is dirty, the unit has to work harder than usual. This reduces its efficiency and makes your energy bills higher. Your HVAC system may even break down sooner than it should.
If you have a preventive maintenance plan set up where a technician services your HVAC unit every spring and fall, the specialist will replace the filter every visit. Just remember to replace the filter yourself in the summer and winter.
Clean the Refrigerator Coils
There’s more to cleaning the refrigerator than throwing out last week’s moldy leftovers. The condenser coils — located on the back or the bottom of the fridge — collect dust and pet hair over time. Similar to a dirty HVAC filter, dirty coils cause the unit to run less efficiently and increase the chance of needing costly repairs. To help prolong your refrigerator’s life, clean the coils at least every six months. All you need is a coil cleaning brush and a vacuum.
Add these four home maintenance tasks to your schedule. You’ll save money on your monthly energy bills, and your appliances will last longer.