Remember winter? It was only a few months ago, but in many parts of the country, spring was big and exciting.
While we often talk about winterizing our homes, we don't often think about "summerizing" it, but that can be a great way to save energy and keep the house safe, clean, and efficient.
- Clean the carpets yourself - The winter is a great time to collect pet dander, soil, salt, and more in the carpet. Now that hot weather has arrived your can rent or buy a carpet cleaner and let the warm breeze dry the carpet. It usually only takes a couple hours. Remember to put the furniture on pieces of aluminum foil or plastic so the moisture doesn't damage wooden legs. Also, move the furniture a few inches once the carpet has dried in the open spaces.
- The bathroom vent needs cleaning - Lots of dust accumulates in the vent. Not only will it run less efficiently, but it can harbor bacteria and even be a fire hazard. Simply take the cover off and vacuum and wipe down all the parts you can reach.
- Dryer vents are dangerous - The good weather makes it a perfect time to clean the dryer vent. Over 15,000 fires a year start with dryer vents. Take the hose off the back of the dryer and off the wall vent and vacuum it. Be sure to clean the wall vent itself, as well.
- Ceiling fan blades are gross - Don't look up yet, but when you're ready, you can clean the blades on your ceiling fan. It will collect dust and grime all winter. Of course, you don't see it, because it's on top. Use a paint roller with a dryer sheet wrapped around it to clean the fan blades. Otherwise, a step ladder and a rag will do the trick.
- Your refrigerator is working too hard - Now the heat is here and the family will open the fridge more looking for cold drinks, it's a good time to give the fridge a quick cleaning and tune up. First, vacuum the coils. They collect dust and inefficient coils can cost you an extra $100 a year in electricity. Next, check the door seals for leaks. Those rubber and magnetic seals aren't expensive and are easy to replace. If they're worn or broken, they'll let the heat in and cost you a lot of money.
- Bathroom maintenance - Now's a great time to do a little bathroom maintenance. First, pour a little bleach down the drains and wait 10 minutes. Run hot water down the drain. This will kill mold and mildew and open drains a bit. Next, clean your showerhead, Hard water build up can make it spray poorly. Put a bag of vinegar over the showerhead and let it soak overnight. In the morning, just rinse it off and let the water run through it. The lime scale should come right off. Also, be sure you using a low-flow showerhead.