Spring cleaning season has come a bit early this year! As families find themselves cooped up at home, the spring cleaning itch is setting in. We’ve put together a list of spring cleaning tips and home maintenance “honey-dos” to kick start your spring cleaning checklist.
Change your air filter
Air filters should be replaced at least once every 3 months, and are an important part of HVAC maintenance. If you have allergies, multiple pets, or you live in an area with lots of pollen, you should consider changing your air filter every month.
Regular replacement of your air filter can lower your energy bill, and will ensure the air in your home remains free of the following irritants:
- Pet dander
Choosing the right type and brand of air filter can be a challenge when so many options exist. For maximum protection, you will want to purchase an air filter with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of 8 or greater. If you live in a smoking household, you will want to purchase a filter with MERV 13 or greater. The higher the MERV, the more particulate matter you will be guarded against.
Check for clogs in the sink
Although you probably use your sinks more than any other feature in your home, it’s easy to overlook the fact that sinks require routine maintenance just like any other appliance. An ounce of prevention will go a long way in catching problems before they have a chance to pile up!
Here are some signs that your sink may be clogged:
- You notice odor coming from the sink
- You hear gurgling noises
- Your water is slow to drain
- You notice particles in the sink (this may be a sign that your dishwasher, tub, or toilet are backing up into the sink)
Test and replace smoke alarm batteries
When it comes to irritating sounds, it’s hard to top the sound of a smoke alarm beeping. Doesn’t it seem like it exclusively happens in the middle of the night? We advise testing the smoke alarms in your home at least twice a year. Spring cleaning, fall or the winter season is a perfect time to test your smoke alarms
Stay one step ahead of your smoke alarm with these tips:
Test the smoke alarm
o If you have a monitored fire system, be sure to call your security monitoring company to notify them that you will be conducting a test of your fire and smoke systems.
Replace the smoke alarm battery
o Most residential smoke alarms use 9V batteries. However, some newer devices (such as those used in Smart Home systems) might require AA or AAA batteries.
Clean the area around your furnace and other appliances
Let’s face it, it’s not much fun to have to clear dust from your home, let alone dust off appliances and spaces that are infrequently touched.
Furnaces, air conditioning units, water heaters and other large appliances are often kept in low-traffic areas that are susceptible to collecting dust and debris. Keeping these spaces clean plays an important role in improving the quality of air in your home, and the efficiency of your many appliances.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Disposable latex or nitrile gloves
- Face mask or bandana (to shield your nose and mouth from particles)
- Antibacterial wipes
- Microfiber cloths
- Compressed air*
*When using compressed air, be sure to read the instructions on the container very carefully. Improper use of compressed air can cause burns and other damaging effects to your skin.
To get started with the task, wipe down the surface of the appliance with a microfiber cloth to remove light dust particles. Use compressed air as needed to fit into small spaces.
Wipe up loose debris and dust with the antibacterial wipes and dispose immediately, to prevent the accidental spread of particles. Using the clean side of your microfiber cloth, wipe down the surface of the appliance once more. Be sure to carefully dust the spaces behind and around each appliance, as well as any hoses, pipes or ducts that are attached.
Cleaning the interior of a large appliance such a furnace is a much more involved, precise procedure. We recommend contacting us to learn more about safely cleaning and maintaining your HVAC units.
There are plenty of other chores to do, both inside and outside of the home, but we hope these often-overlooked tips will help you work through your spring cleaning checklist quickly and efficiently.
If you would like more advice on HVAC maintenance, give us a call at 262-677-3477. The helpful staff at Jackson Hardware Heating & Air Conditioning are standing by to offer expert advice and service.