Air Filters

  • Many types of heating and air conditioning systems contain filters to remove dirt and dust from the air. Check the instruction book or search online by model number: In many cases, the home owner should change filters at least every three months.

Sinks

  • It’s also a good idea to clean your faucet’s aerator — which is the spring inside the end of the faucet — every three to four months.
  • To maintain your garbage disposal, you should run cold water through it during use.

Fireplaces

  • When you’re ready to use your fireplace, be sure to build the fire on the andirons or grate, never on the fireplace floor.
  • To prevent soot and to add color to the fire, throw in a handful of salt.
  • Store your firewood outside, away from the house and not directly on the ground.
  • Have a CSIA-Certified chimney sweep inspect your chimney and fireplace annually, especially if you build a lot of fires in the winter.

Floors

  • To maintain unpainted concrete floors in your basement or garage, first apply a concrete sealer, which makes them easier to clean. When you’re ready to clean them, use a solution of four to six tablespoons of washing soda in a gallon of hot water. Add scouring powder to the solution for tough jobs.
  • For hardwood, be sure the floors have a polyurethane finish before cleaning with water. Hardwood floors that do not have a polyurethane finish will need to be waxed periodically. Use liquid or paste “spirit” wax.
  • The best polish for vinyl floors in water emulsion wax.

Walls

  • Masonry walls sometimes develop a white powdery substance. This is called efflorescence, a crystallized soluble salt that can be removed by scrubbing with water and a stiff brush.

Safety and Security

  • If you have a home security system, regularly check the alarms and circuit breakers to ensure they are in working order. Inspect the sensors one by one.
  • The batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should also be checked twice a year to ensure they are operable. Hard-wired and battery-powered detectors should be replaced every 10 years.
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