Friday, January 20, 2012

Springtime & Yearly Lists

There are always a certain number of items that need attending to in a home on a yearly basis, or more regularly. We all overlook certain things that we need to do in our lives but in order to get everything done in our ever busier lives I’ve found that it is helpful to keep a list of those items both in a written form (as a reminder) as well as on my time-management program (which I also sync. with my phone). Here are some of the ones that I tend to overlook,but really should be done, and most of these items should be done about 6 weeks from now:

• Change the filters on your heating and air conditioning unit (if your have a forced air system), at least once every 3 months. I mark the filters with the date in case I forget when I last put them on). I like to do it on the first day of each quarter. Some heating folks will tell you to do it more often. Look at the filter itself to see how dirty it is . If it’s very dirty after 3 months try every 2 months.
• Have your heating and cooling inspected every year. This is kind of like rotating the tires on your car. The more often you do it the more likely that the system will last longer.
• Close the shut off valve in basement by October 15th to avoid frost issues, and potential water damage. They can be turned back on in April.
• Do a yearly visual inspection on the exterior of the house after the winter months to see if there has been any damaged sustained to the roof, gutters, and walkways. Start to schedule repairs in the early spring to avoid the summer rush when it is more difficult to find repair people.
• Schedule the annual service inspection of the heating system in late spring-the heating companies tend to be too busy in the winter to do servicing then. You can also take advantage of the time to call the A/C service providers to do their inspection a few weeks later, in late May usually works, do have everything in good working order before the providers get swamped in the summer months
• Spring is a good time to start fertilizing and seeding your lawn.
• If you tend to get bees or wasps late spring is also a good time to schedule the exterminator to come by. While he’s there have him check that there aren’t termites or other unwanted bugs or other creatures that might have infiltrated the house in the winter months
• If you’re on well water spring is also a good time to have the pump checked, and you might want to check out the water itself. Your water treatment specialist can do this for you, or you can also take a sample and have it checked at Brooks Labs in Norwalk.
• Open the covers of your heating ducts and take a vacuum hose to get out dust and other debris.
• Open your dryer exhaust at least once a year and clean out excess lint which could make drying your clothes more difficult and be a potential fire hazard
• If you make changes to your home, or buy new furniture or paintings take some digital photos and retain them somewhere online where they could be produced if there is a theft or damage to the house.

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