Keep Your Home Humming With This Annual Maintenance Checklist
There is regular maintenance around the house which, like a clock, should be done once a week. (This to-do list doesn’t stop at anyone or anything.) But it’s also important not to skip the annual maintenance tasks that keep your home in top condition. A regular schedule reminder to make sure your HVAC system is up and running, your carpets are cleaned and your lawn is airy can save you time and money in the long run.
As the seasons change, it is especially important to put regular HVAC cleaning and maintenance on your to-do list. York, whose heating and cooling systems have been operating in American homes for more than a century, makes this easier than ever with their zoning temperature controls and extended warranty.
With this aspect of annual (and semi-annual) maintenance and a few others in mind, we met with two experts from the Good Housekeeping Institute to talk about how extra attention can keep important parts of your home in good repair and in good working order, year after year.
Make sure your CVC is healthy
When it comes to HVAC systems, says Rachel Podell, chief technologist at the Good Housekeeping Institute, “Maintenance is a cost-effective way to extend the life of the devices, rather than having to replace a failed unit.” Simple tasks like changing the filter can be done regularly by yourself. However, for things like checking ductwork and cleaning the furnace and compressor, she says it’s important to invest in more in-depth tune-ups each year by a qualified HVAC professional.
A simple tactic to ensure the proper functioning of your HVAC system? “Consider looking for a system that provides zoned temperature control, in which different areas of your home can have different temperatures simultaneously,” says Podell. Not only is it ideal for providing more comfort indoors, but it also saves on energy bills. Zoned temperature control eliminates hot or cold spots and allows different people in different areas to enjoy their ideal temperature. York offers controls that can be used via WiFi, making it easy to adjust temperature zones from a phone or tablet.
Unblock your air vents
It is also important to take care of HVAC ventilation vents throughout the home, says Carolyn Forte, director of home appliances and cleaning supplies at the Good Housekeeping Institute. She suggests removing your vacuum cleaner and running it around all of your air conditioning registers and vents: “They can get spider web,” she says. “Using the soft dusting brush on your vacuum, review all the grilles and grilles on your vents and exhaust.”
Thoroughly clean a carpet
Carpets should be professionally cleaned once a year, says Forte. Not only does this remove dirt, but regular cleaning keeps the carpets soft and fluffy. And if you make a deep vacuum yourself, don’t forget the doormats. “Vacuum the top, then turn them over and run them over the back,” says Forte. “Doing this removes all the dirt that is trapped in the fibers – you can then vacuum the floor.”
Keep the windows sparkling
Forte says that when it comes to washing windows – something she recommends for seasonal cleaning – simpler is better. “Start from the inside out, with your product of choice and a microfiber cloth. Just work around the house! An advice? Tackle windows in overcast weather – too much sun will dry products before you can reach them with your cloth, which can cause scratches on the glass. If there are windows you cannot reach, call a professional window cleaner at least once a year.
Pay attention to your terrace
“An annual spruce on the driveway and twice a year for the patio is good,” says Podell. It’s also a great time to draw your attention to outdoor lighting and furniture, says Forte, who suggests using water and specially-made outdoor cleaners to keep the grass safe. or flowers nearby. “Clean the planters, pots and patio furniture that you had outside and that could have been taken out during the winter. This will prepare them for the pleasure of spring and summer! “