Temperate spring days present a perfect opportunity to conduct an exhaustive spring cleaning session and carry out home maintenance tasks. When winter recedes, homeowners should take time to maintain and exercise preventive measures on their property. In this article, we shall discuss essential spring home maintenance tips.
Understanding Spring Cleaning
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Today, annual spring cleaning is a culture that is almost fading away despite the fact that many people still practice it. Spring cleaning traces its roots from various traditions. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the practice emerged as a way of keeping homes fresh after a long season of stuffy winter.
Spring cleaning emanates from the ancient times when fireplaces were used to heat homes and efforts put in place to contain the heat within the room. The onset of warmer weather created a chance for people to ensure their homes were cleaned, and aired appropriately, to clear grime and soot that had accumulated during the winter season.
Currently, many people still participate in spring cleaning to allow circulation of fresh air in their homes. During spring cleaning, they conduct thorough cleaning on their floors, windows and other far to reach areas. Experts suggest that longer days and warm weather can trigger people into becoming more active and working harder, which is why they tend to clean more in spring.
Change of Lifestyles and Habits
As the world transforms, lifestyles and habits have changed too. People have also revolutionized their cleaning habits as well. Centralized heating is today common in many homes. Unlike in the past when people hibernated more during winter, the current generation loves spending much of their time outdoors even during winter.
Modern day homes do not accumulate stale air, soot or dust for months as was the case in the yesteryears, which means that the popularity of spring cleaning is diminishing with modernization. According to studies conducted a few years ago, approximately 85% of Britons opine that the spring cleaning culture is likely to become extinct in the next few years.
However, over 2,000 people who were interviewed said that they still uphold the spring cleaning tradition. Approximately 37% said they do it once after some years while one out of five people said they do not recognize the tradition anymore. This does not mean that people no longer clean their homes.
Of course today you can easily hire professional cleaners while other people have adopted the clean as you go concept mainly paying attention to frequent and fast cleaning sessions.
Day to Day Priorities
Modern-day spring cleaning is not conducted in the same way as was the case in the 1940s. Technological advancements have revolutionized the way many things are done. Few house chore presently is conducted without the help of technology or an electronic gadget. This is unlike in the past when house chores were done manually.
In the 1940s, people were accustomed to having a regular schedule for their cleaning activities. For instance, they would dedicate an entire day to the execution of various chores. Some days would be dedicated to washing clothes while others would be set aside for baking, haberdashery, ironing, and various other tasks. People have however become busy which means that people can only afford one day in a week or sometimes a few hours to execute cleaning tasks.
The spring cleaning tradition will not disappear anytime soon. This is especially because many people still advocate for thorough annual home cleaning sessions. At the end of winter, a meticulous spring cleaning process can help you refresh your home which can give you both psychological and practical benefits. Further, it can be an ideal way of reviving your home back to normalcy after a grueling winter season.
Of course, even the most thorough spring cleaning session doesn’t mean that you’ll stop cleaning until the next spring season. It is, however, a great opportunity to conduct the tasks that you hardly have enough time to execute them regularly. These include cleaning your curtains and dusting the furthest corners in your home.
Maintenance and cleaning of your home should be done both on the interior and exterior. ensuring that everything in your home is in good working condition saves you from incurring huge maintenance costs while guaranteeing your family safety.
Below are tips to help you keep your house in order this spring.
Change Your Furnace Filters
When did you last carry out an inspection on your air furnace filters? Have you ever thought about having them replaced? If you haven’t or are struggling to remember when that was, chances are that it was ages ago, which of course is far much beyond the average time frame recommended between replacements.
The filter is a crucial component that plays a huge role in protecting your furnace. It prevents harmful airborne particles from penetrating through the unit and destroying it. Still, the filter gets dirty and when this happens, it harbors its effectiveness. If your furnace has been running throughout the winter season, chances are that it’s drenched in the dust. Replace your air filter at the onset of spring to maximize its effectiveness and prepare for the subsequent winter season when you need it most.
Clean Your Air Conditioner
Ensure that your air conditioner appropriately services and cleaned in preparation for summer. An unserviced air conditioner not only results in breakdowns, but it also causes an increase in energy costs. You can easily maintain your air conditioner on your own by cleaning the coils, replacing the filter, and identifying and straightening and bent fin combs.
These steps will enhance the functionality of your air conditioner. Are there specific rooms within your home that you prefer keeping cooler? Having a portable or window air conditioner can be a sustainable solution. Portable and window air conditioners are not only money saving, but they also help minimize energy consumption during summer.
Purchase an Air Purifier
As spring approaches and the summer season beacons, chances are that your windows shall remain closed while the air conditioner is running. In this case, the air across your house will be circulating over and over again which can result in an unhealthy situation. You can, however, clean it with an air purifier.
This gadget is specially designed to eliminate airborne particles such as allergens, dust, bacteria, mold, and other harmful particles from your the air in your home hence creating a healthy environment. You can choose an air purifier depending on your needs and your budget. If you are shopping on a budget, a smaller air purifier can help you maintain healthy air in your home one room at a time.
However, a bigger air purifier designed for a bigger home is ideal for you if you can afford it. When choosing an air purifier, ensure it has a permanent HEPA filter. These are not only powerful, but they are economical in the long run. Cheaper air purifiers can also come in handy albeit for short term purposes. If you keep pets in your home, consider purchasing a top air purifier specially designed to contain allergies and deal with pet dander and odor
Clean Your Home Thoroughly
Begin your indoor spring cleaning by dusting and cleaning your windows thoroughly. As the light begins to fill your home with the onset of spring, you’ll be able to recognize the amount of cleaning you need to execute. Check out the ceiling fans, curtains, carpets, kitchen cabinets, and even bathrooms.
Many spring cleaning enthusiasts say that the moment they start the cleaning process, they have difficulties stopping before completing the tasks. Ensure that the quality of your indoor air is clean. Remember, mold spores and pollen are released during spring and these can cause allergies.
Currently, there are numerous air quality control gadgets specially designed to improve the quality of your indoor air by up to 99.9%, and eliminating allergy causing particles from your indoor air. This way, you can put allergies at bay during spring.
Ensure Your Smoke Detectors are in Good Working Condition
The ideal time to test and change your smoke detector batteries id during spring. Further, you should test them to ensure they are in good working condition. Many household fires can be avoided with an effective smoke detector which is why you need several smoke detectors for every level in your home. You can keep one in each bedroom, close to the furnace, and along the hallway. If you’ve not yet about having multiple smoke detectors, consider purchasing them this spring season.
Service Your Fire Extinguishers
A fire extinguisher is necessary for your home and you should ensure it’s serviced annually. Check the nozzle, hose, and all other parts to ensure it’s in good working condition. Further, ensure that the pressure gauge lies in the green range. Where possible, ensure that your extinguisher is located in an accessible area in your house where you can easily reach out for it in the event of an emergency.
Ensure the Dryer Vent is Clean
If you’ve had your dryer for some time, chances are both the dryer and its vent will have lint buildup. Studies suggest that a big percentage of the reported house fires are as a result of lint buildup. You can avoid such incidences by ensuring that your dryer is cleaned appropriately. All you need is a damp cloth to wipe out the lint.
You can purchase a specially designed cleaning kit for your dryer vent which comes with an extension handle and a round brush for cleaning the entire tubing area leading to the wall from the dryer. The pipe can collect loads of lint resulting in overheating of the dryers. Consider cleaning the dryer vent opening that proceeds outwards to remove lint buildup.
Disinfect Shower Heads and Faucets
Research indicates that faucets and shower heads can have numerous microbes which can cause you and your loved one’s sickness. To prevent the microbes from spreading across your home, you should disinfect these areas by unscrewing all shower heads and faucets at the onset of spring, cleaning them, and ensuring that they are adequately disinfected.
You can soak them in equal parts of water and vinegar for approximately one hour before rinsing them and screwing them back together. Vinegar helps dissolve slime layers or bacteria build accumulated over the winter season leaving your faucets clean and healthy.
Change Your Incandescent Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs waste a huge percentage of energy by producing heat. A quick calculation will indicate the colossal amounts of money you lose by holding on to using these bulbs in your home. Advanced energy efficient LED and CFL light bulbs can help you minimize energy costs and save you huge amounts of money.
Inspect Electrical Outlets and Cords
inspect all your electrical outlets and cords to avert fire hazards. Watch out for frayed cords, bare wires, broken cords, or loose electrical outlets. Inspect the extension cords and fuse box in your home and replace any damaged cords or wires.
Clean the Gutters
Your gutters will be clogged with debris, dead leaves, and sticks during winter, autumn, and the spring season. To clear your gutters of debris, you’ll need gloves, a garbage can, and a ladder. If still there is remaining unreachable debris, use a hose to flush it away. Clean your gutters during spring to avoid both gutter and water damage in your home.
Check Foundation Vents
Does your home have a crawlspace? If the answer is yes, then it definitely has foundation vents which lead outside. Always clean these every year in spring to eliminate debris from the screen. This is also a perfect opportunity for you to inspect the vents for any damages. Replace damaged vents to enhance their efficiency. Vents come in handy to prevent moisture and mold build up and maintain the solidity of your foundation.
Clean Your Yard
The yard is likely to be forgotten during spring cleaning. To clean your yard appropriately, ensure you collect debris, sticks, and leaves from the compound and inspect the surrounding for any rotten or withering trees and eliminate them from your surrounding. Check the patio, sidewalks, and the foundation for any chips or cracks and ensure they are repaired immediately.
De-cluttering is an ideal method of doing away with items you no longer use or need in your home. By having fewer belongings you’ll have a few items to clean, few things to organize, minimal dust traps, extra free time to do your own things, and minimal stress. Further, de-cluttering will create more space in your home which eases spring cleaning. You don’t have to de-clutter the entire home in one day as managing it can be an arduous task.
De-clutter one room at a time whenever it’s convenient for you. You can even decide to remove an item a day and within a short time, you’ll have freed your home of clutter. Do you still want to keep some of the items? If you do, they find new methods of storing them and keeping them organized. Often, re-organizing your home plays a huge role in helping you find items faster
Spring Cleaning Mistakes You Should Avoid
In order to succeed in your spring cleaning tasks, you should avoid the following mistakes.
Beginning without a Plan
Many people have no spring cleaning schedule. Having a scheduled plan helps you undertake your tasks systematically. You can begin cleaning your home from the upstairs on your way down. If you live in a one-story house, begin cleaning from the farthest corner of your house. Clean one room at a time until you are satisfied before moving to the next room. This way, your cleaning will not only be exhaustive, but it’ll also be more organized and less tiring.
Cleaning the Floor First Instead of the Ceiling
If you start cleaning your home from the floor as opposed to the ceiling, you are doing it wrong. Imagine cleaning your entire house and finishing your chores with the ceiling. Of course, all the dirt from the ceiling will fall on the floor and on your furniture, forcing you to repeat the cleaning process which is tiring.
The best option is to begin from the top downwards. Remove cobwebs and dust from the ceiling, and then proceed to dust your walls and furniture, and complete the process by removing clutter and wiping off the necessary areas.
Using Poor Cleaning Products
Studies suggest that many people opt to use environmentally friendly products for their cleaning tasks, while some were opposed to the idea of using harsh chemical-based cleaning products. While natural and environmentally friendly cleaning products are the ideal choice, they may not be effective for all cleaning requirements.
Some of them may not clean tough stains and grime effectively. If you are cleaning your house in spring, chances are you’ve not cleaned it thorough all through the winter season. This means that tough grime and other stains have accumulated and can only be removed with robust products. Ensure you are using the appropriate products for your needs. There is a wide variety of cleaning products you can choose including bleach-based cleaners and sanitizing cleaning products.
Using a Single Cleaning Rag for the Entire House
If you use a rag to clean your house, you know that the more you clean, the dirtier it becomes. Using one rag for the whole house is, therefore, not wise as you end up spreading germs across the house. Have different cleaning rags to change as they get dirty.
Using Paper Towels to Dry Your Surfaces
Microfiber and cotton cloths are ideal for drying your surfaces compared to paper towels. Further, they never leave behind lint which makes them more efficient. Some paper towels have a rough surface and may cause scratches on delicate items such as TV screens and furniture.
Not Airing Your Home
When you are doing a thorough cleaning on your home, ventilation is a crucial factor. Opening your windows lets in fresh air and minimizes indoor air pollution resulting from the cleaning products. Even when you have an air conditioning gadget, it may not bring in fresh air in the room.
Combining Chemicals from Varying Products
Mixing chemicals from varying cleaning products can generate dangerous fumes. Many of us don’t understand the contents of the cleaning products we use; neither do we know how they can react with each other when mixed. Combining vinegar and bleach, for instance, can generate chlorine gas which is dangerous when inhaled.
Prolonged exposure to chlorine gas can cause severe difficulties in breathing and chest pain, pneumonia and vomiting, and fluid in the lungs. If you are sampling products to identify the best that meets your needs, use one product at a time.
Cleaning Your Windows during Sunny Days
Sunlight helps you see how dirty your windows are. Still, your washing liquid will dry faster in hot weather. You may want to wash your windows when the weather is cooler.
Vacuuming Pet Dander With no Attachment
If you are experiencing difficulties in cleaning your pet dander, you probably are using your vacuum without an attachment meaning that you are spreading fur across the house instead of removing it. Experts opine that using a rubber bristle brush which can suck fur to the vacuum canister is the best approach.
Not Replacing Your Vacuum bags on Time
Don’t wait until your vacuum bags are full before replacing them. Many advanced vacuums come with an indicator that allows you to establish when you need to change the bag. If you are using the older vacuum bags, chances are they don’t come with that option.
Leaving your vacuum bag until it’s full can have a negative impact on its effectiveness. If you notice a decline in the performance of your vacuum, it’s time to change the bag. However, you need to establish the decline in performance first. Find out whether there are clogs barring its efficiency.
Spring cleaning will probably continue to decline with continued modernization and technological advancements. Still, this tradition is common among many people and will probably not go away anytime soon. The above guide should help you conduct your spring cleaning tasks with ease and increased efficiency.