Nate’s Corner: 10 Summer Home Maintenance Tips
1. Bathroom Vent Fans
To keep them running longer and quieter, bathroom vent fans need to be cleaned occasionally. The first step to keeping them in great shape is using your vacuum to clean the louvers on the outside of the vent cover. Not sure what a louver is? They’re the angled slats you see on your vent cover. Next, you’ll want to gently pull down the vent cover to access the inside of the vent. Vacuum the fan side of the vent cover. If you spot any dust present in the fan motor housing, you can also vacuum it out. A good silicone lubricant spray (such as WD-40) can be used on the moving parts of the fan to help it stay quiet.
2. Ceiling Fan Blades
The blades of a ceiling fan are dust magnets! If you don’t keep them clean, they end up spreading dust around your room. Use furniture dusting spray and a soft cloth to remove the dust. Swiffer make a great product that has an extendable handle to help you easily accomplish this task.
3. Clothes Dryer Vent
The dryer vent of your home is another area that you need to pay attention to a few times throughout the year. Dryer lint can build up inside the pipe, choking off the exhaust. This is bad news because not only does this present a potential fire hazard, but it can also cause mechanical problems with your dryer. The first—and easiest—thing you can do to prevent this build-up is to change the lint filter in the dryer after every load. On top of that, you can occasionally locate the exterior vent cover and make sure it is free of any blockage. Once you do that, you can remove the vent cover to gain access to the vent ducting itself. The lint can be removed by using a vacuum or a specially designed brush that is used to clean dryer ducts.
Summer is a great time to check for any boards or planks in your deck that my need to be repaired or replaced. It’s also a good idea to water proof your deck to help prevent rot and decay.
5. Central Air Conditioning Condensers
While your AC on the exterior of you home needs minimal care and maintenance, there are a few things you can do to help it run more efficiently. Because your AC is transferring air, it is important to make sure that the sides and top of it are free of any obstructions that may interfere with airflow. Bushes, shrubs, and fencing actually need to be at least 12”-18” away from the unit. If the ground under the unit becomes uneven, the fan blades will start to rattle and not run effectively. Support and prop up the corner (if it has settled downward) to keep your unit from rocking back and forth.
6. Gutters and Downspouts
Water and debris can get stuck and accumulate in your gutters over the fall and winter. Summertime is a great time to make sure they are clean and free of all debris. Pay special attention to the green popup cap in your lawn. It is attached to your downspouts and brings the water from your roof down and away from the foundation of the home. In addition, make sure grass doesn’t overgrow the cap by trimming the grass around it weekly.
7. Smoke Detector
Check your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re working properly. It’s good practice to change the batteries every 6 months.
8. Garage Doors
Keep your garage moving smoothly by picking up a garage door lubricant at your local hardware store. Spray all hinges, wheels, and other moving parts. This will help ease the strain on the motor, as well as help quiet the door while it’s being used.
9. Lawn Care
Summertime means you’ll need to take care of your grass! At the beginning of the season, test and adjust sprinkler heads and timers. Look for dry spots early so they don’t become dead spots later on in the summer. Make sure to regularly use a good fertilizer and water as needed. It’s also healthy for your lawn to have a good clean cut—sharpening or replacing the blade on your lawnmower can do this.
10. Air Filters
If you have central air conditioning in your home, be sure to change the air filter every 30 days.