10 Basic Home Care Tips

10 Basic Spring Home Care Tips You Should Definitely Know (but Probably Don't)

In the thick of the cold and dreary days of winter, we all slow down and conserve energy. That often means we don’t get around to the certain out-of-the-ordinary home care tips that we should, letting dust bunnies collect and routine maintenance run amok. But the warm spring temperatures combined with the longer days of sunshine energize us to get moving and do some spring cleaning and preventative maintenance to take care of our largest asset: our home. We’ve put together a list of some spring home care tips you may have not thought about that you definitely should tackle to keep your household running like it should:

1. Clean Outdoor AC Unit

It’s officially spring, which means it’s time to get your air conditioner unit ready for the cooling season. There’s nothing worse than having your AC stop working when it’s a 90-degree day! Prevent the sweat by doing routine maintenance before your unit is compromised. Unscrew the screws that hold the grates around the outside unit fan and use a hose to spray all debris out of the inside of the unit and off the grates. Be sure to shut off your AC unit FIRST before doing this. Let them sit for about an hour to dry, then screw them back on.


2. Change AC Unit Filter and Change Thermostat Batteries

While focusing on cleaning the outdoor AC unit, be sure to change the filter on the inside part of your AC unit as well. The best way to know what filter to buy is to take your old filter with you to the store to buy a new filter (or snap a photo before you head out). The size will be printed on the edge of the filter.
If your thermostat is powered by AA or AAA batteries ,be sure to put in new batteries at this time, too! Batteries dying can also cause you to come home to a hot house in the summer.


3. Clean Under Refrigerator

How often do you actually clean underneath your refrigerator? Probably not often (if you’re like most people). The grill that’s in place at the bottom of your fridge lets air flow in and out of this crevice to help keep the coils working. But vents in the grill also allow tons of dust and grime to build up in this area, which can ultimately impair how well your refrigerator works. It’s important to pop the grill open and clean this area out.
The grill should easily come off if you have the fridge doors open and wiggle the grill while holding onto both sides. Wash in your bathtub with some bleach or other disinfectant, scrubbing it with a sponge or cloth. Let it dry before reattaching.
With the doors closed, grab a coil cleaning brush and start loosening all the dust off of the coils. Vacuum your coil brush off, then stick your nozzle inside and pick up everything the brush loosened up. Make sure to go over the coils, the corners, and anywhere that dust might have fallen.

4. Check Caulking Around Windows

Leakage around windows will admit warm summer air and let cooled indoor air escape, so be sure to check that any caulking and weather stripping you have around your home’s windows has remained intact. If you experienced condensation inside the glass on double- or triple-glazed windows during the winter months, that could mean the weather seal has been compromised, in which case either the glass or the window will need to be replaced.

5. Examine Exposed Wood in Basement for Termite Damage

If you knock your wood and it sounds hollow, it’s a surefire sign of termite activity. Termites do serious damage to your wood’s structural joints, leaving them with a rippled or crushed effect. You can inspect the wood with a screwdriver to expose any tunnels. Subterranean termites have a distinct style, always creating tunnels parallel to the grain of the wood. When the weather starts to warm up, subterranean termites swarm to go off and develop a brand new colony. When they head out for greener pastures, they discard their wings, often leaving them in piles. Check your basement for evidence of termites.


6. Check Basement Concrete Walls for Evidence of Leaks

Spring storms bring inordinate amounts of water to the ground. Be sure to check your basement’s outer walls for cracks and leaks the next time it rains. If you see a leak, go outside and take a look at your gutters and downspouts and be sure they are all attached properly to the home. If they are, climb a ladder and check to be sure they are cleaned out and not clogged, allowing water to leak to places it shouldn’t.


7. Clean Outdoor Furniture, Patio & Sidewalks

If you put your furniture in storage over the winter time, it’s time to get it out and spray off dirt, grime and cobwebs with a water hose. Don’t use a power washer as that can cause damage to finishes. Save the power washer for your concrete patio and sidewalks – spring is a great time to clean these as well!


8. Clean Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans tend to be forgotten until it’s time to use them. Now that the temperatures are heating up, be sure to take time to dust and clean your ceiling fans before use. Otherwise you’ll just be spreading the accumulated dust throughout the room again. Here’s a ceiling fan cleaning tip: Lightly spray the inside of an old pillowcase with a mild all-purpose cleaner or a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Slip the pillowcase over one of the blades and gently pull as you wipe, trapping any dust or debris inside. Repeat with the other blades.


9. Clean Curtains and Drapes

Curtains and drapes are another often forgotten surface that needs spring cleaning. Constant exposure to sunlight can render even sturdy fabrics fragile. So when machine-washing curtains and draperies, use the gentle cycle, cool or lukewarm water, and mild detergent. If possible, hang them on a clothesline to dry, or put them in a clothes dryer on a no-heat or delicate setting.


10. Shampoo Your Carpets

With your windows open throughout the spring and early summer, carpets are exposed to dirt, pollen, exhaust fumes, and even mold. If you use an AC unit, your carpet quality might be even worse. AC units can cause dirt to fly through the air and can even suction outdoor bacteria into the home.
Once you open your windows in the springtime, dust and allergens start to enter your home with the warm breeze. Simultaneously, the onset of summer tends to bring more traffic to the entrances of your home. Because everyone’s wearing sandals, you or your housemates are walking in from the beach, a BBQ, or the park, and are dragging in the sand, grass clippings, and dirt on your feet and shoes.
All of these filter down into the base of your carpet and can cause it to look dingy and dirty. The heat of warm spring and summer days allows for faster carpet drying times, so it’s the perfect time to clean those carpets! If you’re not the kind of person who keeps a carpet cleaner on hand, many home improvement stores have rental options.


The team at Varma Realty Group is happy to provide you strategic tips to keep your home in the best shape possible. If you have any questions about anything regarding the Greater Cincinnati real estate market, whether you’d like to list a home or would like to invest in another asset, please reach out to us at any time: 513-307-3599 or varun@varmarealtygroup.com.
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