HOUSE & HOME ULTRA LITE
by Da Vinci Remodeling, LLC
Preventative Home Maintenance List – Summer
The following is your House & Home Ultra Lite Summer Maintenance List. [note]Please note there is some work to be done from a ladder in the maintenance list. If you need help with this or any other home maintenance, please call.[/note]
- Replace furnace filter(s): Changing furnace filters will improve air quality and enhance the efficiency and life of your home heating & cooling systems. Furnace filters should be replaced regularly (at a minimum four times a year and more preferably 6 – 12 times a year). Homes with pets should consider changing filters at least monthly. Make sure you use the proper type of filter for your furnace. Make a note of the type being replaced and purchase the same or as similar as possible. The wrong type of filter can limit air flow and possibly even freeze your air conditioning system.
- Vacuum refrigeration coils/condensers: Refrigerators, freezers, wine chillers all have coils & condensing units (usually behind a panel at the bottom of the unit – consult your model’s owners’ manual). Keeping these clean will reduce energy costs and prolong the life of the unit.
- Inspect for evidence of uninvited guests: Again, not your in-laws! We’re talking about mice, birds, squirrels, insects, etc. Check attic areas and crawlspaces. Look for droppings and possible damage done to wiring, insulation, siding, roofing, etc.
- Inspect stairs and railings for safety: Give railings a good tug to make sure they’re not loose.
- Inspect fire extinguishers: We think every home should have at least two (2) good, properly rated fire extinguishers. They should be checked that they are charged, readily accessible, and in good shape. Fire extinguishers that have been discharged should immediately be recharged or replaced. Fire extinguishers come with a warranty (typically 10 years). They should be replaced once the warranty expires.
- Kidde has some good diagrams and information on their website about types and placement of fire extinguishers. As a rule of thumb, remember to place fire extinguishers near exits – never in a room without an exit. In the event of a fire, your first steps should always be towards an exit. If you decide to fight the fire, you’re headed in the right direction. If you decide not to fight the fire, you’re still headed in the right direction.
- Clean dishwasher filters: Follow your model’s owners manual.
- Clean gutters and downspouts: Gutters and downspouts perform a simple but vital purpose and they are often overlooked because cleaning them is not enjoyable. Gutters must be cleaned to protect your home. Water must be diverted away from your home’s structure. There is no simple way to clean them. Just bite the bullet, get a good pair of gloves, some trash bags, and a hose and go for it. Be very careful on the ladder, watch for overhead electric lines and wear gloves – there are lots of sharp edges in a gutter.
- Clear the roof of debris: While you have the ladder out doing the gutters, take the time to clear your roof of any debris and make sure all roof vents are clear also. This is a good time to inspect the roof, flashing and valleys for damage as well. Again exercise caution.
- Inspect chimneys for uninvited guests, cracks or potential leaks: It’s just one more thing to do while you have the ladder out.
- Clean the range hood or downdraft filters: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Many filters are dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning them very easy.
- Clean shower head and sink faucet aerators: These can usually be removed from the faucet with a pair of channel locks. Caution: use a rag or rubber gripper (similar to on used to open jar lids) to prevent scratching the finish. The aerators are then soaked in a cleaning solution (CLR or homemade white vinegar and water), rinsed and replaced.
- Test and maintain, as necessary, all egress windows and doors: Think of egress as a means of escaping a fire. There should be a minimum of two (a door and probably a window) from every sleeping quarter.
- Exercise electrical circuit breakers: This is the simple process of flipping each one to the off position then back on. (Note: If your computer does not have a UPS, turn it off before doing this task. If it does have UPS, it’s a good time to verify it’s working properly). On rare occasion some breakers become fixed in their ON position and in the event they’re truly needed, they do not operate (shutdown) properly. Should you find one that is difficult to turn to the OFF position or one that when turned back ON, won’t stay ON, contact a licensed electrician. Going beyond the panel cover is not a homeowner project. The worst part of this is having to reset all your alarm clocks, microwave, etc.