In our last blog we started with end of summer projects to get your home ready for the fall and winter months. We covered the Kitchen and Bathrooms. In this blog we are going to cover the outside and the rest of the inside of the house. So we will begin with the Laundry Room:
- Clothes Dryer Vent Pipe: Did you know that the accumulation of lint in the vent pipe on clothes dryers cause 15,000 fires annually? To prevent a dryer vent fire in your home, it’s important to clean your dryers vent pipe regularly. Begin by removing the dryer hose and/or the outside vent pipe cover, next clean the inside of the hose and pipe thoroughly with either a special brush or a vacuum cleaner. Additionally, clean the lint trap on your dryer every time you dry a load of clothes.
- Ceiling Fan Blades: The blades on paddle ceiling fans get dusty over time, and as they keep churning that dust gets spread around your room. The easiest way to clean the ceiling fan blades is to secure a clothes dryer sheet to a paint roller with rubber bands then roll that dust away.
- Air Conditioner Filter: Replacing the air filter on your air conditioner every 3 months enables the system to run more efficiently and keeps the air in your home fresh and clean. And it’s easy to do. Just remove the cover of the air return, sliding out the old filter, and replacing it with a new one. If you are an allergy sufferer, this is a perfect time to upgrade to a high-performance allergen air filter.
- Air Conditioner Drain Line: To prevent water from backing up in your home, it’s important in the summer to flush the AC drain line regularly with bleach. If the drain does become clogged, use a wet/dry shop vac to remove the clog, then pour a cup of bleach down the access pipe to kill anything else that might be growing in there.
- Hot Water Heater: Sediment buildup not only shortens the life of a water heater but it also raises your energy bills, so it’s important to drain your water heater every year to remove sediment from the tank. Turn off the power (or gas) and water to the heater, attach a garden hose to the drain valve, and run the water outside. During this process check for leaks, make sure the vent pipe on gas water heaters is clear, and test the pressure relief valve to make sure it works and doesn’t leak.
- Inspect Crawl Space: For those homes without a full basement, crawl spaces can pose their own unique issues. Excessive moisture in the crawl space can cause mold, rot, and buckled wood flooring. Inspect your crawl space, floor joists, and any HVAC ductwork under your home for signs of moisture or condensation, and inspect foundation walls for leakage or seepage. Cover the ground of the crawl space with thick plastic to prevent moisture from coming up through the ground.
- Mold and Mildew: Summer heat and Chicago’s humidity can cause mold and mildew to grow on the outside of your home. To remove it, simply scrub the affected area with a diluted bleach solution. Be sure to protect plants and shrubs before cleaning, and prune them away from the house to help prevent future mold growth.
- Patch Cracks and Holes in Driveway: If your driveway is showing its age by looking faded,cracked or suffering from potholes, you may want to pressure wash it, repair any holes, and then apply a concrete re-surfacer or asphalt sealer to give it new life.
- Prune Shrubs Around AC Units: Air conditioning units and heat pumps require plenty of air circulation to work efficiently, so it’s important to keep shrubs trimmed back and away from the units. Make sure there’s at least 18” of space around the sides of the air conditioner, and three feet or more above the unit.
Once you have taken care of all of these tasks your home will be ready for the fall and winter months. If all of this feels a bit overwhelming to you, just give the Handymen at AndyOnCall a call and they will take call of all of these tasks for you, so you can enjoy the last days of summer doing the things you enjoy!