Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
It’s time to prep your home for cooler weather with these tasks to do in an hour, over a weekend and during the month. Get your home ready for the season ahead by ticking off these to-dos, from adding cozy layers to scheduling necessary maintenance — and then curl up in your favorite chair and savor the comforts of home.
Things to Check off Your List in an Hour or Less
1. Cozy up with warm layers. Think about swapping out lighter-weight bedding for flannel sheets and fluffy duvets. Bring added warmth to the other rooms in your house with throws and pillows in rich fabrics like wool, velvet or faux fur. Thicker area rugs and curtains not only feel cozier, but they also can actually help your home feel warmer — and cut down on your energy bills.
2. Order firewood. Whether you use a wood stove for actual warmth or just for coziness, now is a good time to order a delivery of firewood. Tip: don’t store large quantities of wood directly against the house, as it will encourage pests, but do keep it protected from rain and snow beneath a shelter.
3. Check safety devices. Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries as needed. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace if needed.
4. Set up a homework or project area. Encourage kids to get their work done with an area that is comfortable, attractive and well-organized. Ideally, make available a large surface for spreading out big or messy projects. Although your dining table can work, if you have the room, consider adding a dedicated project table and keep all the necessary supplies at hand.
Tackle These Tasks Over a Weekend
5. Clean leather furniture. It’s important to know whether your leather furniture has a finish before treating it with any products, so check labels or look up the item on the retailer’s or manufacturer’s website before you begin.
6. Remove window AC units. If you use window air-conditioning units, now is the time to either remove them or cover them outside with protective insulation. Removing the units is the better option because this will allow you to close the windows, minimizing winter heat loss. If you choose to leave them in over the winter, be sure to pick up insulating covers made for this purpose and securely attach them outside.
7. Add weatherstripping. Newer double-pane windows may not need weatherstripping, but it will help most older windows retain heat and stop drafts. Check areas with previously applied weatherstripping and remove or replace as needed.
8. Freshen up your fall wardrobe. If you’ve bought new clothes recently, take this opportunity to sort through the rest of your wardrobe and remove pieces you no longer wear. Collect clothes that need repair and move summer clothes to an out-of-the-way spot so that your fall wardrobe can be front and center. Polish shoes, and remove pilling from coats and sweaters.
9. Inspect the roof and gutters. It’s generally fine to wait until most of the leaves have fallen in autumn to clean out the gutters and downspouts, but giving these areas a quick visual inspection now is a good idea. Pull out any sticks or other debris blocking the gutters, and make note of any worn-out seals around vent pipes and chimneys. If you do not feel comfortable on a ladder, or have a home of two or more stories, hire someone to do a quick inspection for you. Schedule any needed repairs now so that your home will be buttoned up for winter.
Maintenance and Extras to Budget for This Month
10. Schedule chimney and furnace maintenance. Make sure your fireplace and heating system are clean, safe and ready to go by having a pro look at them now. Having your chimney cleaned will also ensure that you don’t try to start a fire when an animal family (or an old nest) is inside.
11. Maintain the washer and dryer. Cleaning out the dryer vents can be a DIY job, but if you don’t feel comfortable doing so (or if you’ve been putting it off), you may want to hire a pro to do washer and dryer maintenance for you. Washing-machine hoses need to be replaced from time to time, and a cracked hose can cause a leak — which can mean costly damage to your home. Clean dryer vents and hoses will help your machine work more efficiently and reduce the risk of fire.
12. Consider beefing up insulation. Looking for a way to save on your energy bills this winter? You may want to think about adding insulation to your attic space or inside walls. This can make a big difference in how well your home retains heat in winter and stays cool in summer.
Click here to read the full article on Houzz by Laura Gaskill.
What Are Those Black Lines around The Edges of My Carpet and how do I Prevent Them?
This soiling is called Filtration Soiling because it comes from air passing through the carpet as it is attempting to get through the crack between the carpet and the baseboard or under a closed door. As the air passes through the edge of the carpet pile, this microscopic soiling is deposited there (hence the term filtration soiling). This occurs over a significant period of time and is not noticed until a build-up has occurred.
Think of it as soot from your air ducts (…and candles and other things).
This has become a common problem today because homes are much more airtight than in the past and because aromatherapy and burning of candles is so popular today.
But we vacuum all the time…
No matter how “clean” your house is or how much you vacuum… it still happens.
Because most homes aren’t 100% airtight, there is naturally a gap between the flooring and the walls. Air moves through that gap, and the carpet acts the same as a furnace filter, trapping the solid particles of “soot”. And since it’s difficult for your vacuum cleaner to reach every single spot on your carpet, over time the ultra-fine particles have a chance to really bond with the carpet and become more apparent. Especially in those areas that are harder for your vacuum to reach — like around the baseboards!
Most vacuum cleaners do not clean the edges of a carpet very well, as their main effort is in the center of the vacuum orifice. Some vacuum cleaners have a slot at the edges, to help there, but there is no beating action in this location, and the actual suction at the edges is very small, relatively speaking.
By the time you notice it, the problem has progressed to the point that you need to have your air ducts professionally cleaned.
Can the black marks be removed? Yes. It takes added labor and special agents to get this out, but a professional carpet cleaner can do it.
How to Prevent the Black Marks
To prevent it from happening in the first place, get your air ducts cleaned! Preventing airflow through carpet and carpet edges by sealing cracks in the subfloor, as well as under baseboards and edges of stairs, may also reduce filtration soiling problems.
You could also consider making minor modifications to your lifestyle — such as burning fewer candles, smoking less, cooking less… you get the idea. Since that’s not likely to happen, I’d recommend you just get your air ducts cleaned.
Click here to read the full article on Household Tips Guide.
5 Warning Signs it’s Time to Have Your Dryer Vent Cleaned
Imagine waking up to your home on fire, only to find out later it could have easily been prevented. According to the National Fire Protection Association, dryers caused more than 15,500 home fires in 2010. Lint and other debris can build up in your dryer hose and vent duct, reducing air flow, backing up exhaust gases and eventually causing a fire. You can avoid these dangers and increase the efficiency of your dryer by thoroughly inspecting and cleaning your dryer vent every year. Check out the 5 warning signs that it’s time to have your dryer vent cleaned.
1. Drying time for clothes has increased.
When a dryer vent is clogged, the drying cycle can double or triple in time. You’ll notice that clothes are not completely dry at the end of a regular cycle. A dryer is designed to push out the hot moist air for clothing to dry. If your vent is blocked by lint, the air will stay in your dryer keeping your clothes hot and moist. And when it takes twice as long to dry clothes, your dryer runs longer, putting more wear and tear on it and therefore cutting the machine’s life in half.
2. Your clothes and the outside of the dryer are very hot.
Do you notice that your clothing is very hot at the end of a cycle or the dryer is hot to touch? This warning sign means the vent is not exhausting properly. If your system is clogged, it not only wastes energy, but can cause the heating element and blower in the dryer to wear out faster.
3. You notice a burning smell.
When you run your dryer do you smell a burning odor? Lint, which is very flammable, can build up in the exhaust tube, lint trap and even in the drum casing. If it gets too hot, it can catch on fire, causing a burning smell. (Remember to empty the lint trap often). Discontinue use of your dryer and have it inspected as soon as possible.
4. The vent hood flap doesn’t open properly.
Another visual red flag that you’re due for a cleaning: You can see lint or debris around the dryer hose or outside vent opening: or the duct hood flap does not open as it is designed to do. An outside vent that doesn’t open when the dryer is running means air flow has been restricted due to lint buildup.
5. It has been longer than a year since your last inspection.
Dryer vent ducts should be inspected at least once a year to reduce the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Some of the DIY cleaning kits do not always properly clean the vent duct. One advantage to hiring an experienced professional is he or she has likely seen just about every make and model of dryer and has the appropriate brush and equipment to effectively do the job.
Contact us today for a thorough inspection and cleaning of your dryer vent.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
Still Experiencing Winter Allergies? Consider Having Your Air Ducts Cleaned
The air ducts in your home have an important job - moving air throughout your house via your heating or cooling system. Over time, air ducts may become dirty or contaminated with mold and dust. If any of your family members have allergies, it may help to clean your dirty air ducts to improve air quality in your home.
5 Things to Consider for your Air Duct Cleaning Project:
- Assess for Mold -Mold develops in areas where moisture accumulates with inadequate ventilation. If mold develops inside your air ducts, it can create an unhealthy indoor environment because as air travels through the ducts, mold spores will release into this air and enter your living areas.
- Check for Clogs and Debris - It’s possible for clogs to accumulate in air ducts from debris and even from rodents and insects. If this happens to an extreme degree, you might even notice particles releasing into the air from the air ducts. The danger from these particles blowing into your home comes from possible mold and mildew that might develop from decaying organic matter.
- Get a Cleaning Estimate from a Professional - Because the air duct system is likely extensive, traveling through areas of your home that may be difficult to access, it’s usually a good idea to hire a professional air duct cleaned.
- EPA Recommendations - Understand that if you are cleaning out existing mold or replacing moldy insulation, part of the repair process has to include remedying the environment that enabled mold to develop in the first place. If you don’t fix these issues, more mold will develop.
- Choosing a Professional - Research companies that you consider hiring for air duct cleaning. Home Advisor is a good resource.
Contact us today to let us know how we can be of service.
7 Reasons You Should have Your Air Ducts Cleaned for the Holidays:
- You've never had them cleaned
- You or a family member has allergies
- You have a wet, damp basement causing mold and mildew growth
- You've had remodeling work done
- You want the dead spiders, insects and rodents removed from your ducts
- You or a previous owner has/had pets
- You dust constantly with little lasting results
Receive 10% off your first service with Green Clean Air (Air Duct Cleaning, Window Cleaning).
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Why Should I have my Air Ducts Cleaned?
The usual rule of thumb is that “if your ducts look dirty, they probably are”, according to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association. Other reasons for having your air ducts cleaned include:
1. Improved Indoor Air Quality
Homeowners interested in indoor air quality may want to consider having their ducts cleaned, as up to 40 lbs. accumulates annually through everyday living.
The re-circulation of contaminants in your home (dust, chemicals, dander) causes a build-up of contaminants in your duct work that are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated up to 7 times per day.
People with respiratory conditions such as allergies, asthma and autoimmune disorders may find welcome relief once they’ve had their air ducts thoroughly cleaned in the home, school or workplace.
2. Increased Energy Savings
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system may cause it to work harder and shorten its life. Even though filters may be in place, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use.
A clean HVAC system results in less energy used and leads to improved performance and lower energy costs.
Click here to read the entire article on the National Air Duct Cleaners Association website.
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