You've heard of prepping your home for the Winter, and Spring Cleaning is a catch-all phrase for getting your home ready for the Summer, but did you know there are a few items you can do in August that will help improve your air quality and keep some of your appliances in shape for the Dog Days of Summer?
Here are 6 easy steps you can take this week to keep your home running smoothly and ready for Fall.
Replace Your Air Conditioning Filter
AC pros typically recommend changing your filters every 45 days for max efficiency. If you have allergies, you may want to do it monthly.
Turn the air conditioner off, and wait until it stops running.
Take the cover off the air return.
Remove the old air filter.
Insert the new air filter in the return, making sure the arrow on the edge of the filter is facing in the direction of air flow. For filters with wall and floor mounted returns, the arrow should point in toward the return duct. For filters mounted in the ductwork near the air handler, the arrow should point toward the air conditioner unit.
Put the cover back on the air return.
Turn the air conditioner back on.
Clean Air Conditioner Drain Line
Air conditioners remove water from the air in your house as they cool, and the last thing you want on a hot August day is for the condensation drain line to become clogged with algae and back the water up into your AC unit or house. In addition to water damage, this can cause an electrical short and fire.
To check the drain line for clogs, pour a cup of water down the access line while someone else watches where the pipe exits outside. If the water drains slowly or not at all, it's clogged and needs to be cleared.
To remove a clog from the line, attach a wet-dry vac to the end of the pipe, and use it to suck the clog out of the drain line.
To prevent future clogs in the air conditioner drain line, pour a cup of bleach down the access pipe to kill any algae.
Clean and Maintain Bathroom Vent Fan
Running a bathroom vent fan during a shower or bath and for 10-20 minutes after removes excess humidity and prevents mold or mildew from forming. Cleaning the vent fan annually keeps it running quietly and efficiently. To clean your bathroom vent fan:
Turn the power off to the fan.
Remove the cover (on most fans you pull down on the cover to extend it, then compress the spring wires on each side to take it off).
Use a brush or vacuum to remove dust from the cover, then scrub it in soapy water.
Vacuum out the dust from inside the fan box and wipe off the blades.
Spray the moving parts with silicone lubricant to help it run smoothly and quietly.
Replace the vent fan cover.
Turn the power back on.
Check to see if the fan is working properly. If not, remove and replace the vent fan motor.
Clean Refrigerator Coils
You can save as much as $100 a year on your power bill by vacuuming the refrigerator coils regularly! The coils can be found either on the back of the fridge or underneath the unit behind the kickplate.
To clean hard to reach coils under a fridge:
Unplug the refrigerator.
Remove the kickplate.
Attach an extension wand to your vacuum and run it under the fridge to vacuum out any dust bunnies. If you don’t have an extension wand, you can use a paper towel or wrapping paper tube. Punch holes in the tube and tape to the end of your vacuum hose to use.
If the refrigerator coils are on the back, pull the fridge out from the wall to allow access, then clean them using a vacuum cleaner brush attachment. Be sure to unplug your fridge any time you're moving it or vacuuming the coils.
Clean and Test Refrigerator Door Seal
Cleaning the door gaskets on your refrigerator thoroughly with soap and water, then inspect the gaskets for cracks or tears.
To test the gasket seals, place a dollar bill between the gasket and fridge, close the door, and try to pull the bill out. If the seal is working properly, you should feel resistance as you pull. If the paper bill pulls out easily, you may need to align the refrigerator door or replace the gasket.
If the gasket isn't sealing, check to make sure the door is aligned squarely on the hinges. If it's not, adjust as needed, following the instructions in the refrigerator manual.
If the refrigerator still isn't sealing properly, you can replace the gasket by pulling the old one out of its groove (see if it's held on with screws first). Press the new gasket gently into the groove, and replace any screws when you're done.
Do a massive clean sweep of your garage. Yes, it's a tedious task, but when the time comes for you to store your patio furniture, BBQ, and everything else that comes with summer outdoor entertaining, you'll be able to do it more easily.
It’s time to store away your camisoles, sundresses, golf shirts, and shorts. Launder or dry clean your clothes. This will make packing easier and preserve your clothes over the winter.
Seal The Deck
Before the leaves start to fall, power wash your deck and allow it to dry. Then apply a coat of sealant to protect your boards from harsh winter weather.
What's on your August Home Maintenance List?
Sources: Todayshomeowner.com, styleathome.com, BobVila.com