Greetings and welcome to part 3 of my Spring Checklist Series for homeowners. Proper maintenance of your appliances helps ensure your home is a clean, safe and enjoyable place to be. This week we'll look at cleaning and maintenance of the various systems within your home:

  1. First and foremost, it’s time to clean and tune your home appliances. Most homeowners forget about their appliances until something breaks, but an annual tune up and thorough cleaning can greatly extend an appliance’s life and improve its efficiency. Start with your dishwasher. Clean off any food residue with a sponge or plastic-bristle brush. If your machine has one (refer to the user’s manual to find out), remove the filter basket and empty it. Then, carefully take out the filter itself and scrub it with a plastic-bristle brush. When you’ve put everything back together, run the dishwasher on empty to give it a thorough rinse.  Next, clean the coils underneath your refrigerator. (Make sure you unplug it first!) You should also check and clean your dryer vents. Finally, replace the filter and the bag (if you have one) on your vacuum cleaner.
  2. As the weather warms, so will your need to stay cool. Get your fans in shape for the new season by changing the direction of your ceiling fans so they blow the air down and running the bathroom exhaust fans during showers to keep the humidity down and your AC working less. You may also want to consider installing an attic fan, if you don’t have one.
  3. Spring also is one of the best times of year to inspect your air conditioning system, because it will be much cheaper to fix in April than in August. Stock up on new air filters for your AC or clean the one you have if it is a permanent filter. You should also take it for a test run to make sure everything is in working order. You may even want to consider planting a shade tree next to the outside unit to help it run more efficiently.

Getting your house in order for spring doesn’t have to take long. Most of these steps can be completed in just a few minutes each, and they’ll save you time, money, and frustration in the coming months.

Next week, we'll wrap up the series in part 4, covering interior spring cleaning tips.