This post is sponsored by FilterEasy. As always, all opinions and ideas are entirely my own.
I really hate to admit it, but I can be a pretty forgetful person at times. I have the best intentions, but on a busy day when I have a lot on my plate, some things just fall to the wayside. Text messages are left half-written, online purchases are left in the shopping cart, and chores get pushed to tomorrow. When it comes to remembering things, I will usually take all the help I can get!
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Enter FilterEasy. A few weeks ago, FilterEasy reached out to me to see if I was interested in collaborating on a blog post. I wasn’t familiar with the company, but I soon learned that they offer air filter replacements through a subscription service. It may not sound like the most exciting service out there, but I was actually thrilled!
I know how important it is to regularly replace the filter in your HVAC system, but my forgetfulness usually gets the best of me when it comes to things like that! But now that I know about FilterEasy, I’ll be getting a new air filter in the mail every 3 months, without having to remember anything. Score! (And for a limited time, you can get a FREE trial of FilterEasy and try it out for yourself!)
My experience with FilterEasy got me thinking about home maintenance tasks in general. I was sure that there were other similar tasks that I wasn’t addressing as often as I should, but I was also sure that I wasn’t alone in that! So I did some research, and today I’ll be sharing 10 important home maintenance tasks that we can all probably stand to address more often. So here’s to being better homeowners in the future! :-)
1. Air Filters, Vents, & Ducts
Like I mentioned above, it’s important to change the air filter in your home’s HVAC system at regular intervals. Dirty air filters can actually inflate your energy bill and aggravate allergies or breathing problems! But how often you should you change your air filter?
That depends on a few different factors, like how many people live in the house, if anyone has allergies, if you have pets, etc. So someone who lives alone might be fine replacing their filter every 3 months, but an allergy-sufferer with a few kids and a couple of dogs would be better off replacing their filter every month.
Luckily, FilterEasy makes replacing your air filter, well… easy! Choose between 3 types of filters depending on your family’s needs, select the size that fits into your system, and select how frequently you want to receive your filter (every 1, 2, or 3 months). Not only does FilterEasy save you a trip to the hardware store, but each delivery is also a reminder that it’s time to swap out your filter! (See why my forgetful mind loves this idea so much?)
In addition to changing your air filter, you also need to keep the vents and ducts of your HVAC system clean. Keep your vents clear by tackling them with your vacuum every few months. Cleaning your ducts is probably a job you’ll want to hire a professional for, and that can be done just once per year. (Add “get ducts cleaned” to your annual spring cleaning list!)
2. Dryer Hose & Vent
Did you know that clothes dryers are one of the leading causes of residential fires? And it’s not because dryers are inherently dangerous – it’s because a lot of people don’t clear out their lint traps and dryer hoses nearly as often as they should!
If it’s not a habit already, you should start emptying your lint trap every time you use your dryer. You should also inspect your dryer’s exhaust hose a couple of times per year. Just unhook it, use your vacuum to clear out anything stuck in there, and hook it back up. Easy! There are all kinds of special vacuum attachments that can help you get into the nooks and crannies of your dryer to clean out lint and dirt. This flexible vacuum hose is a bit pricey, but it would be really useful for keeping your dryer well-maintained!
3. Refrigerator Coils
Refrigerators use a system of coils to cool and condense the refrigerant, and those coils can turn into dust and dirt magnets! On some makes and models, the coils are located at the bottom of the fridge. Dust and dirt accumulate under appliances anyways, so those coils can get caked in grime over time. Grimy coils can’t operate efficiently, which means bad things for your energy bill. (Fridge coils that are on the back of the fridge can also get pretty grimy, so check your coils no matter where they’re located!)
Once or twice a year, you should use your vacuum to clean out your fridge coils. (It would be even easier with a flexible hose like the one I mentioned above!) It’s a simple job, but it has the potential to lower your energy costs and extend the life of one of your major appliances!
When you’re focused on keeping the inside of your house clean, it’s easy to overlook the windows. But your windows are the source of natural light in your home, so it’s worth it (to me anyways!) to put in a bit of extra effort to keep them clean.
A few sources online recommend cleaning your windows every 2 months, but that seems pretty frequent to me! I’m lucky if I manage to clean mine twice a year. But it’s really not a hard chore, because I found a really quick and easy way to do it! You can find all the details on my preferred window cleaning method below.
The gutters along your roof can only do their job if they’re kept free of debris. Experts suggest cleaning them twice a year, once as part of your spring cleaning, and then again in late fall when the leaves have fallen. If you have any trees in your yard that drop fruit, pinecones, or anything else on your roof, you’ll probably want to check your gutters every few months.
6. Ceiling Fans
If your house has any ceiling fans, then you probably already know how dusty they can get. But they’re also easy to overlook when you’re doing your everyday cleaning, especially if you have tall ceilings!
Try to tackle your ceiling fans at least once a month to make sure they’re not just spreading dirt around when you turn them on. I’ve written a whole post about the quickest and easiest way to clean ceiling fans, so no excuses! ;-)
7. Bathroom Fan
When was the last time you really looked at the state of your bathroom exhaust fan? Probably never, right? It’s easy to overlook when you’re not actively using it! But your bathroom exhaust fan does an important job by whisking moisture out of the bathroom. (Without an exhaust fan, your bathroom would likely be quite humid, soggy, and even mildew-y.)
My daughter wrote a great post detailing how she cleaned her bathroom exhaust fan, which you can view at the link below. Do this process once a month or so to keep your fan running in tip-top shape!
If the outside of your house looks like it could use a facelift, it may be time to clean your siding. I was never quite sure how to clean all the siding on our house, until a couple of years ago when I bought a pressure washer that I found on sale online. Pressure washers are actually pretty affordable, and they make jobs like cleaning your siding so easy! It’s pretty fun to watch the dirt get blasted away, so my boys usually jump at the chance to do chores that involve the pressure washer. And that suits me just fine! :-)
If you don’t own a pressure washer or want to buy one, you can often rent them for an hourly rate at major hardware stores.
9. Stove/Range Hood
Similar to the fan in your bathroom, the fan above your stove has an important job to do. The fan helps draw the air above your stove into a filter, which captures all the greasy airborne oils that are produced when you’re cooking.
But the filter in your range hood can eventually get bogged down with grease and grime, making it much less effective. Replacement filters are easy enough to find online or at hardware stores, or you can try cleaning it following the instructions in my post about how to clean your range hood filter! Either way, you should check the state of your hood filter at least once a year.
10. Underneath Appliances & Furniture
Finally, the last easily forgotten household maintenance task I’ll mention is the area underneath your large appliances and furniture. This came to mind just the other day when I was reaching for something I had stored under my bed. I saw how dusty it was down there and thought to myself, “Have I ever vacuumed under there?”
A layer of dust under your bed, couch, or oven may not be a problem for some people. But for others who have allergies or breathing problems, any sort of dust or dirt build-up can be problematic. Shoot to clean under your big furniture and appliances at least once a year.
To help you move your heavy items, recruit a few strong friends or family members for an afternoon. I find that bribing people with food is usually pretty effective! ;-)
I hope these tips have helped empower you to take charge of your home maintenance! With a bit of extra effort, you’re sure to be the best homeowner on the block in no time. And you can get a jump start on improving your home maintenance habits with the help of my friends at FilterEasy! They’re are kindly offering a FREE trial of FilterEasy to OGT readers for a limited time, so you can give the service a try for yourself!