Can you smell it? Spring is in the air. Time to get out the BBQ, fertilize the yard, and prepare for summer fun! Spring is also a good time for some upkeep around the house. These spring projects can help you maintain the value and quality of your beautiful home.
Flush Your Water Heater
Have you ever taken a shower and all the sudden the water turns ice cold? It’s not a fun experience! Over time minerals and other debris build up in your water heater which causes your system to lose efficiency, and sometimes even malfunction. It’s recommended that you drain and flush your water heater at least once a year. Doing so can extend the life of your water heater, and help you avoid those freezing showers. It’s a pretty simple process, just follow these steps:
1. Turn off your water heater’s gas or electricity.
2. Shut off the cold water supply that leads into the water heater.
3. Turn on the hot water in a nearby faucet and leave it open while you drain the water heater.
4. Attach a hose to your water heater’s drain valve and place the other end in a good drainage area.
5. Open the drain valve to drain the water heater tank. Be cautious because the water will be extremely hot unless you give it time to cool down first.
6. Flush the remaining sediment out of your tank by opening and closing the cold water supply several times until the water appears clean.
7. Close the drain valve and remove the hose.
8. Fill your water heater's tank and remember to leave a nearby faucet open until all of the air bubbles are removed.
9. Turn on the gas or electricity to your tank. While turning on the water heater, set the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature will give you water that’s plenty hot, but help you save on your energy bill.
For more details on flushing your water heater, watch this instructional video
Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts
Every winter fresh snow pulls all the debris from your roof right into your rain gutter and downspouts. The leftover leaves from last fall combined with a bunch of other gunk can pile up and create problems when those April showers, or other rain storms, come. To prevent problems throughout the summer; clean out your gutters and down spouts, flush them with water, and then tighten any lose joints or screws.
Touch up Peeling Paint
Besides being an eye sore, peeling paint is bad for a few reasons. First off, it allows spring rains and summer dew to damage any exposed wood, which can lead to bigger problems in the future. Peeling paint can also be an issue if you try to sell your home. An appraisal will typically require you to fix any peeling paint before you can finalize the sale of your home. Take a few minutes to sand, clean, and repaint any peeling paint this spring. It will help you keep your home in good shape and could save you money down the road.
Heads up: You should also consider resealing any exposed wood, such as a deck or patio, that isn’t painted.
Clean and Check Your Gas Meter
Has your gas meter disappeared behind a shrub? Covering your meter with plants may help heighten your home's beauty, but it can create safety issues. According to Questar gas, vegetation, fencing, or other debris can interfere with your meter and the underground gas lines. They suggest that you give your meter 3 feet of space on the front and one foot on each side to avoid interference. As you clear space around your meter you should also check it for any damage. If something looks out of place, call your gas provider. They can come check the system and make sure everything is functioning properly.
Caulk Window and Door Trims
The caulk around your windows and doors creates a seal that makes your home airtight. Over time the sun and other factors can dry out or damage your caulk, creating holes. You should check all seals around your home for dried out caulk or cracks and consider applying a fresh coat wherever the seals appear damaged. Fixing the caulk around your home will improve your home’s insulation, keeping it nice and cool on those hot summer days.
Give Your AC Unit a Bath & Room to Breath
When an AC unit is surrounded by debris and vegetation it can weaken the unit’s ability to perform. It’s kind of like trying to run with a towel over your mouth. Wash off your AC unit and clear away anything that could interfere with the unit’s airflow, like a plant that’s too close. You want your AC unit to have at least one foot of space on every side so it can run efficiently and keep your home cool.
Speaking of keeping your home cool, don’t forget to change the direction of the blades on your ceiling fan. In the summer they should rotate counter clockwise, which forces cool air down.
Create a Checklist for Your Home's Maintenance
Create a maintenance checklist for your home that includes tasks that need to be done throughout the year. Tasks like changing the filter in your furnace, checking the batteries in your smoke detectors, or some of the tips mentioned in this article. Then set reminders to help you follow through with your checklist on a monthly, semi-annual, or yearly basis. Doing so can help you maintain the value of your home and make life a little easier.