Your Spring Home Checklist, Part 2

The calendar states that we’re officially into spring - even though, on some days (or nights), you can still see your breath outside in Brookfield, Elm Grove and New Berlin, WI.

Winter is rough on both people and homes. Frankly, your house worked hard the past few months. Some parts kept you warm. Others kept you safe. It’s worth checking on a few key mechanicals and components, to see how they fared in the season just past.

We covered Part 1 of our Spring Home Checklist last week. Part 2 has a bit of cleaning, some draining, and a lot of keeping your eyes open!

  • Furnace: When is the last time you changed its filter? Furnace filters should be checked every two or three months during heating season. If a filter is obviously dirty – or you can’t see through it – replace it. A clean filter helps your furnace operate efficiently. The air in your home will be cleaner, too.

Spring home checklist in Brookfield, WI

  • Water heater: Drain several gallons to flush out sediment. Water heaters rarely last more than 10 years, and their lives can be significantly shortened without this basic maintenance. The easiest method is to attach a hose at the spigot near the bottom, and run the water into a wash basin or large container. Repeating this process every few months is advisable.
  • Fireplace: A roaring fire is warm and romantic, but typically not after March. Empty the ash pit. Sweep out the entire firebox. Take a good look at the interior walls, too. If you see cracks or holes, call a fireplace professional for an inspection. Fireplaces produce carbon monoxide – ignoring potential leaks can have deadly consequences.
  • Clothes dryer: Speaking of deadly consequences, thousands of home fires are caused annually by lint from clothes dryers. Clean out lint everywhere: in the machine itself, in the outside vent, and in the tubing or shaft leading to the vent.
  • Water shutoffs: Give the main inside shutoff valve a turn to make sure it still closes completely. Should you ever have a frozen pipe or other serious leak, you’ll need this. Conversely, open the shutoff valves to outside spigots, and make sure the water is running freely. You did remember to close these valves before winter, right? Leave them open, and you risk the aforementioned frozen pipes.
  • Fire extinguishers: Are they charged? These critical safety appliances are often ignored until needed … and then it can be too late. If one or more needs recharging, find a local vendor and get it done.
  • Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors: Sure, you were supposed to check their batteries when Daylight Savings Time switched. If you didn’t, now’s the time (no pun intended … we think).

Late March and early April - somewhere between winter and golf season - is perfect for giving your home a “physical.” Some basic maintenance keeps things running. A few checkups can find small problems before they become big ones. It’s time well spent – usually without having to spend much, if anything, at all.


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