Interior Fall Home Maintenance Guide
After covering exterior fall home maintenance tips (here), we turn to interior fall home maintenance. Early fall is great time to check off some of these annual and semi-annual maintenance tasks before the hectic holiday season is upon us. Performing these tasks will help keep your home safe and comfortable and will extend the life of some of your home’s major systems as well.
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Inspect your fire extinguishers
Most of us have fire extinguishers tucked away somewhere in the house where we will (hopefully!) never have to use them. The National Fire Protection Association recommends periodic inspection to make sure your extinguisher is ready to go if you should ever need it. Allstate has a great inspection tutorial here.
Flush hot water heater and remove sediment
This is something we prefer to leave to the professionals. We’re told that build up in water heaters makes them more inefficient and also shortens the life of the unit, so it’s a good idea to have this done once a year while you’re having the rest of your HVAC system serviced.
Clean kitchen exhaust hood & filter
These workhorses of the kitchen are often overlooked, but they collect lots of grease as they suck the odors from the room. The exhaust hood has filters that can be removed. They can be washed in hot, soapy water in the sink or put in the dishwasher (check your hood’s manual first, but I’ve had good luck doing it this way!) Epicurious has a very detailed tutorial here.
Clean garbage disposal
Wikihow has a list of methods to clean and deodorize your disposal here.
Snake bathroom drains
Regularly snaking out bathroom drains with a drain stick is an easy, non-chemical way of avoiding larger clogs. You might want to do this more often if you have a lot of long-haired family members using a bathroom! We’ve had good luck with these.
Vacuum lint from dryer exhaust vent
The National Fire Protection Association says that more than 15,000 fires are started each year because of clothes dryers. To prevent this, make sure you clean your lint screen after every load, periodically vacuum out the exhaust vent (inside and out with a shopvac with attachment) and then have your entire exhaust duct cleaned by a professional.
Remove window-mounted AC units
Give your window AC units a little TLC before you store them away so they are ready for you when the hot weather hits. Apartment Therapy has three simple steps here.
Clean faucet aerators
Over time small particles can build up in faucet aerators making your water flow less than optimal. Twice a year, take off the aerator and clean it to keep your water flowing strong. Dummies.com has a good video how-to here. You can also soak the aerator in vinegar if flushing alone doesn’t do the trick.
Vacuum refrigerator coils
Keeping your refrigerator coils clean is the number one thing you can do to extend the life of your fridge. These coils are either located on the back of your refrigerator or at the bottom behind the kickplate. Be sure to unplug your fridge before you do anything and we like an inexpensive vacuum attachment like this one to do the job.
For even more home maintenance tips, visit our home maintenance page.
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