6 Home Maintenance Chores to Do Now

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Warmer weather is finally taking hold across the northern half of the country and that means that pretty soon many Americans will be taking care of such summertime chores as gardening, mowing, and painting.

There are, as well, a number of household maintenance chores that homeowners may overlook because there are so many other things to do. Did we mention barbecues, soccer games, and outdoor activities?

The folks at Realtor.com have come up with a list of six home maintenance chores that can be easily overlooked and lead to some unhappy consequences later.

Here’s the list.

Check the fire extinguishers
First, you have to find them. Most people have them but they haven’t thought about them in so long they may not recall where they are. Check the pressure gauge to see if the device is still serviceable. If not, have it recharged or replace it.

Test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Dead batteries cause 24% of detector failures. The devices have a test button. Push it and if the sound practically makes your head explode, it’s fine. If not, replace the battery and test again. If that doesn’t produce an unearthly shriek, replace the detector.

Clear drains
Pour a gallon of water down each drain and watch to make sure that it drains well. If it doesn’t, use a plumber’s snake to clear the drain.

Change the filter in the HVAC system
This is something homeowners should do every three months or every two months if they have pets. It’s simple: locate the filter, take it out and clean or replace it. Clean filters can cut your monthly utility bill by 5% to 10%.

Seal gaps around windows
Sealing gaps around windows saves money both on winter heating and summer cooling bills.

Clean out the rain gutters
The whole purpose of having gutters–to divert water away from the house–is defeated if the gutters and downspouts are clogged. You’ll need to get on a ladder to check for debris and possibly animal or bird nests. When you think the gutter is clear, use the garden hose to run water through the gutters and downspouts to make sure they’re clear.