Essential home refreshers
Nothing says summer like lounging by the pool, firing up the grill, and taking care of routine home maintenance.
OK, so home maintenance isn’t at the top of your list. (You’re much more interested in finding the perfect bikini and firing up the margarita machine.) But bear with me — your property needs you.
If you neglect to maintain the following parts of your home annually, you could be putting your assets at risk and dragging down your property value. So make a summer to-do list, stick to it, and then get back to perfecting those cocktails.
1. Replace Your Air Filters
Replacing air filters regularly is important — not just for the upkeep of your home, but also for your health. Dirty filters will impact the air quality inside your home and affect the performance of your air conditioning unit.
2. Trim Shrubs Around Your Air Conditioner
Shrubs and bushes create a cooling mechanism for your air-conditioning unit, but if they’re unruly, they could be doing more harm than good. Foliage needs to be trimmed so it doesn’t obstruct the unit and block that precious airflow.
3. Check Your HVAC Units
Conducting an annual checkup on your HVAC equipment allows you to make minor repairs before a small issue turns into a big, unexpected problem. Trust me, if your unit breaks when it’s 100 degrees and you have to shell out cash for a replacement, you’ll wish you’d paid attention to its condition earlier.
If you need extra motivation to keep your HVAC unit in proper working order, remember that it will also help reduce your monthly energy bills.
4. Remove Mineral Deposits From Your Showerhead
The buildup of excess minerals around your showerhead can cause water discoloration and block the flow of water into your shower. This adds minutes to your shower time, which cuts into your summertime relaxation.
Cleaning your showerhead is easy. Just soak it for a few hours in a mixture of vinegar and water in a sealed bag or container, use a small brush to remove excess minerals, and rinse.
5. Clean Your Blinds
It’s no good having sparkling windows if your blinds look like dust-bunny traps. Summer is a great time to take down the blinds and give them a thorough cleaning. Some blinds are durable and can simply be washed off with a hose or kitchen tap, while others might need to be gently vacuumed. Check the manufacturer’s directions for the requirements of your particular brand.
6. Refresh Your Refrigerator
You don’t want a fridge full of old condiments and stains when you’re stocking up for the big barbecue. Keep your refrigerator fresh by scrubbing the shelves and sides with some soap and water, throwing out anything past its use-by date, and replacing the baking soda to help neutralize food odors.
7. Clean Your Dishwasher
Where would you be without your dishwasher? Washing your dishes by hand, that’s where. To keep your dishwasher in good working order, clean the inside with dishwasher cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water. If your machine has a filter, remove it and clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
8. Carry Out a General Outdoor Inspection
While you’re hanging out in the yard this summer, take the time to do a quick inspection of your property. Are your fences secure? Is your irrigation system working efficiently? Are your shrubs and bushes trimmed? Is your patio surface in good condition? If you answered yes to all these questions, feel free to laze by the pool this weekend. If not, get to work!
Refreshing your home doesn’t have to be a drudgery. You can make it fun by getting the whole family involved and delegating different tasks to each person. Award points for completed tasks, and give the person with the most points a prize when everything is done.
Checking things off your summer to-do list will feel satisfying, and then you can forget all about the air conditioning unit for another year and get that water balloon fight started.
Elizabeth Dodson is the co-founder of HomeZada, a cloud-based home improvement and organizational software tool. HomeZada strives to educate and provide resources for homeowners in all areas of home management, including home improvement projects, maintenance, inventory, property information, and property value. Check out HomeZada’s blog for more helpful tips!