The official start of spring is just a couple of weeks away, a time when southeast Michigan home or condo owners and even renters should be taking stock of what needs to be done around your place. Sure, adding more ‘chores’ to your list probably isn’t the most fun thing you can think of, but taking care of routine maintenance can save you money this spring season, and help avoid unexpected problems just as the weather starts to turn nice.
Most of the suggestions below are things you can handle yourself, some may require the assistance of a professional.
Whether you own a home, condo, or rent an apartment in Ann Arbor, Dexter, Ypsilanti, or other southeast Michigan communities:
Turn on the A/C to ensure it’s operating properly before temperatures really heat up. Waiting too long will leave you on the ‘waiting’ list, as most HVAC technicians are super-busy when the summer season arrives.
When you turn the clock back, check fire/carbon monoxide detectors. It’s hard to remember to test your detectors, so write it on your calendar to test these devices when the time changes. Replace battery (or unit for those that are hard-wired) as needed.
Check for leaks. Water can cause extensive damage to your home, so check everything with a hose or connection. This includes the toilets, refrigerator, faucets, hot water heater, under sinks/vanities, behind the washing machine, ice makers, etc. Check hoses behind the washer for signs of damage such as cracks or dryness. Closely inspect the caulking around sinks and tubs to see if it’s time to replace.
Check fire extinguishers. Whether you own a home or condo or rent an apartment, a fire extinguisher is a must – and a lifesaver. Make sure yours is within easy access and in good repair. Check the pressure gauge to ensure it is within normal range if one exists. Some require refilling on occasion; check the tag on your extinguisher for a date.
Vacuum refrigerator coils. Pull your refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum coils, which become dirty and built up with dust, grease, and other debris. This one simple task can help you save a surprising amount of money on energy costs each year!
Change your furnace filters regularly. This is one you’ve heard over and over again. Make sure you do it!
Now, special tips for homeowners:
If you have a sump pump, test it by pouring a pail of water in it. If operating properly, the pump will come on immediately.
Inspect your gutters. Remove leaves, dirt, and other debris, and check for loose spots. Repair if needed.
Take a close look around your foundation to make sure water is flowing away, and not toward your home. Water puddling near the foundation may be an indication that you need to direct water away.
Have tree limbs hanging over your roof or near electric lines trimmed. Not only will your home be safer and the chance of a power outage reduced, the trees will be healthier.
Could roots be causing your toilet or tub to drain slowly? Possibly. Roots can invade sewer and septic lines. You have two options; have a professional snake the line to free it of roots, or use a chemical herbicide to kill the roots. If you have several large trees near your home, have the sewer/septic lines inspected on a yearly basis. It’s also important to remember that regardless of what a product claims, the only thing you should flush down the toilet is toilet paper.
Check window screens for holes, tears, or other damage and replace as necessary.
Rake leaves and clean up debris around the foundation of your home as well as around your lawn and garden.
Most of these are fairly easy tasks you can take care of yourself. By putting these chores on your spring to-do list, you can potentially avoid repair costs and prevent damage to your home.
Although our specialties are air conditioning, heating, plumbing, and electrical, the staff at Haley Mechanical likes to provide southeast Michigan homeowners with tips for keeping your home in tip-top shape! Give us a call today for all of your home comfort needs.