We may not be out of the woods yet when it comes to cold weather and snow, but it doesn't mean that we can neglect certain home maintenance projects, especially basic ones that can protect our home and our family. If you're like me, you're constantly looking for ways to improve your home, make it smarter, healthier, and safer. As we head into spring, here are three maintenance projects you don't want to overlook.
#1. Cleaning of your dryer duct and vent.
You should be cleaning this about once every 3 to 4 months or depending on how often you do the laundry, about every 20 to 30 loads. A properly maintained dryer duct will actually make your loads dry quicker, saving about $10-$20 per month. Plus, accumulated lint in the dryer duct and vent can cause a fire risk. There are nearly 3000 dryer fires each year. You don't need any fancy materials to keep this area clean; a dryer vent brush starting at just $20 at the home improvement store can work or if your hose on your vacuum cleaner is long enough you can just suck it out of there. You'll want to unplug your dryer, disconnect the vent pipe, locate the exterior vent, and clean at the ducks highest point, where the lint is more likely to build up. If you have this done professionally, it could be upwards of $150, so it's definitely worth it to try it on your own.
#2. Check all your smoke detectors and CO detectors.
About twice a year's you should check all of the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Dead batteries can cause about 25% of smoke alarm failures and home fires where there were fatalities show that about 40% of them had no smoke alarms at all. This should be tested monthly and batteries should be changed about once a year. Even detectors that are not beeping could below or simply not working at all. You should replace the smoke detectors and CO detectors about every 10 years because they become less sensitive over time. This is a cheap and easy way to keep your home and family safe.
#3. Clean the gutters.
Gutters are your homes first defense against water damage and if they are not cleaned properly they can allow water to pool on the roof, leak into your siding, overflow, or damage your siding and roof. Replacing a roof is probably one of the most expensive components of your house averaging over $8000. Gutters should be cleaned once or twice a year, and more often if you have trees that lose their leaves close to your house. This is a cheap and easy home maintenance fix that could save you thousands of dollars in home repairs. If you have this done professionally you're looking at about $150-$300.
These three cheap and easy home maintenance projects can keep your home safe and keep home maintenance costs down dramatically.