From the blog

5 Areas To Inspect During Fall Cleaning

As if we don’t have enough to do around our house already, there are fall seasonal chores that need to be completed as well. I don’t know how much time my readers have, but I know that I don’t have a ton of time leftover after work, kids, and regular daily chores. However, these are things that should be done to help keep your home running smoothly so that you don’t have expensive maintenance to do this winter. Some of these chores include:

Heating and Cooling Units – replacing filters, cleaning and vacuuming (where appropriate), and performing general maintenance on heating and cooling units during the fall can help reduce expensive repairs during the winter or the following summer. Check to see if you have a maintenance package with the company you purchased your units from. This could save you time and money.

Appliance Maintenance – we all rely pretty heavily on our appliances… refrigerators, microwaves, stoves, washers, dryers, etc. So, we need to occasionally inspect them to make sure that the hoses aren’t cracked, that cords are all intact, the vents and exhaust are clean and free of dust, dirt, and debris. A quick way to clean the dust out of the bottom of your appliance, where applicable, is to take the foot guard off the front of the appliance (i.e. refrigerator), and vacuum all that dust and grime out. This will help prevent fires and will keep your appliance running smoothly for much longer. Don’t forget to pull the appliances away from walls, shelving units, etc. to ensure nothing mistakenly got shoved underneath or next to the appliances. This should be done every couple of weeks just as a general cleaning procedure. This will also help reduce the risk of a fire.

Clutter – we all (okay, almost all of us) gather some clutter throughout the year. Now is the perfect time to go through the closets and get rid of the things that you don’t need to make room for new things. In addition, depending on where you live, it may be time to start looking through the winter clothes to see what still fits and what doesn’t. I know that I collect lots of ‘things’. After all, I have five kids and there’s always a use for something. However, if I’ve had something stored away for several months without use I either get rid of it or box it up and put it away somewhere that is easily accessible.

Outdoor Areas – there are several things that could need your attention on the outside of your house, as well. Some of these areas include: patio furniture (cleaning of and properly storing or covering for winter months), grills (again, cleaning of and properly storing for winter months), rain gutters, landscaping, etc. Taking care of these items before it starts raining or snowing can help maintain the functionality of the item and help ensure you don’t have to purchase new items next spring or summer. Cutting back shrubbery, lawns, etc. can help ensure they keep well over the winter months. Some plants need to be covered so they don’t freeze and die in the winter.

Windows – every once in a while our windows need to be cleaned and the weather stripping and seals should be checked to make sure they don’t need to be replaced. If the weather stripping and / or seals are bad then you could be in for higher utility prices when trying to heat or cool your house. Having bad seals or broken / cracked windows repaired or replaced before the cold sets in can help keep your heating costs down. There are also special government programs that will give you tax breaks for purchasing certain products, such as double-paned windows and solar panels, to be installed in your home. These will also help reduce your utility costs in the summer months.

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