Texas Living

Spring Cleaning Checklist

By Lisa Martin 4.23.14

As the savviest of homeowners can attest, spring cleaning often goes well beyond banishing dust bunnies and clearing out cobwebs. Add the following four items to your annual Spring cleaning checklist to help your home function at its best for the rest of the year.

Seal the Deal

Up to 20 percent of hot or cold air traveling through your home’s system of ducts leaks out through holes or poor connections, according to the federal government’s Energy Star program. Take a few minutes to eyeball the accessible ducts in your attics, basements, crawl spaces, and garages. Sealing the gaps is a simple Saturday afternoon DIY project, and one that yields significant long-term benefits.

Chill Out

Experts recommend that homeowners replace their AC filter every three months to improve air quality, circulation, and energy efficiency. Also, schedule a professional to come out and inspect your system annually. A typical visit should include:

  • Checking thermostat settings
  • Tightening electrical connections
  • Measuring the voltage and currents
  • Lubricating any moving parts
  • Inspecting the drain

Clean Sweep

The Chimney Safety Institute of America says homeowners with wood-burning fireplaces should have their units inspected annually for soot buildup. Meanwhile, gas fireplaces should be examined every couple of years.

Prevention Power

Both the U.S. Fire Administration and National Fire Prevention Association advise homeowners to invest in new smoke detectors if existing units are more than 10 years old. Otherwise, replace the batteries in smoke alarms every spring. When you do, take a minute to make sure the alarm properly sounds by pushing the test button.