It’s official, today spring has sprung! Ironically enough, our meteorologist just predicted snow for NY today. What? Will it ever end? I’ve heard of an Indian summer, but is there such thing as an Indian winter? I hope not!

Be that as it may, after this long winter and the effects of cold temps, it’s time to give the exterior of our home a good look and inspection. Likewise, inside our home, spring marks the time for maintenance of systems, fixtures and appliances.

Following these spring home maintenance tips will prevent bigger, more expensive problems should they go unattended. Even more, they can help create an energy efficiency home, another way to save some cash. So remember, as our lawns start to turn springtime green, think green for energy efficiency and a greener wallet too!

DIY Interior Spring Maintenance Tips

  • smoke detector testClean registers and filters – Build up of dust and dirt are certain to cause your heating/cooling system to run inefficiently. Replace filters if they’re disposable or follow manufacturer’s cleaning instructions on reusable ones.
  • Clean your kitchen hood exhaust filter – A gunked up filter can’t draw air properly. Replace it if it’s disposable or wash with a degreaser.
  • Wipe down the blades of your ceiling fan – Also, make sure it’s turning forward (counter-clockwise) which blows the air down, creating a cooling effect on your skin. There will be a small switch on the unit that switches blade direction.
  • Clean out your dryer vent hose – It’s not just the lint screen that needs to be cleaned! A clear dryer vent will let your dryer run more efficiently and even prevent fires. Use a dryer cleaning kit to clean inside the vent hose all the way to the exterior vent cover.
  • Check smoke/carbon monoxide detectors – Daylight Saving (March 8th) is a good semi-annual reminder to check your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries, wipe down the covers, and test the detector’s operation.

DIY Exterior Spring Maintenance Tips

  • Test your AC unitBefore temperatures climb is the right time to make sure your AC is running properly. Also, make sure nothing is blocking airflow on and around your AC unit, as this will prevent it from running efficiently. Remove any growth near the unit and use a brush to clean off the “fins” behind the grate. If you haven’t had it inspected in a few years, call in a professional who will do some routine maintenance.
  • Clean Gutters – Debris accumulated over the winter has to get cleaned out of your gutters. Pull out the leaves and branches then run a hose to clean them as well as check for any leaks. Seal any holes with a gutter sealant.
  • Inspect your roof, deck, etc. – Look for cracks, bulging or swollen sections, poke around with a screwdriver for soft spots. Detecting damage from water or even termites early on will prevent bigger problems if you repair them right away.
  • Norma Spring prepFix cracks in concrete and stucco – Any openings in your concrete paths or stucco siding need to be sealed to prevent further damage. Use concrete and stucco patch, available in caulking tubes or tubs.
  • Inspect around windows and doors – How is the weather stripping and caulking looking? Reseal wherever you see openings to keep insects and heat out!
  • Run your sprinklers – Run all zones and check that they’re working properly. Reset timers for Daylight Saving.
  • Spray for bugs – All the insects you don’t see over the winter are getting ready for their springtime debut. Stop them in their tracks! If chemicals are a concern for kids or pets (or the environment!), there are natural pesticides available.
  • Paint, stain, or seal wood Treating wood decks, planters, fences, etc. with a weather resistant finish will extend their life and refresh the look of your yard. PS – That’s yours truly staining one of my weathered wood barrel planters in prep for spring.

So get busy like the bees I see swarming around the early blooms in my southern Nevada yard. Start your spring home maintenance now and prevent any problems from springing up on you in the future!

Norma sig

Got A DIY Question? Ask-The-Expert!

If you have a DIY home repair, maintenance or improvement question for Norma, now is your chance to ask-the-expert and have her answer. Your burning question may just be the “star” of an upcoming Fix-It Friday column.

Add your question to the comments section below or email it to Women You Should Know.

Fix-It Friday is an exclusive Women You Should Know® editorial series authored by seasoned veteran of home improvement, Norma Vally, the former host of Discovery Home Channel’s series “Toolbelt Diva” and a show on Sirius Satellite Radio by the same name. The weekly column is designed to inspire women – weekend warriors, aspiring handywomen, and even seasoned DIYers – to take on home repairs and maintenance projects with confidence and gusto.