Now that it’s officially pumpkin-spice-everything season, you only have a matter of weeks before your home should be ready for the dreaded “W” word.
Winter will be here soon in South Dakota, and while it may seem like you just did spring cleaning a minute ago, autumn is a good time to do another thorough cleaning project on your home before the cold weather sets in.
So, set aside a Saturday morning, get your kiddos on board, and fall into a sparkling clean home. Here’s a handy fall cleaning checklist for your reference!
1. Test and clean your smoke detectors
You should test your smoke detectors once a month and change the batteries every six, so this is a good time to do that.
Also, use your vacuum cleaner attachment to clean cobwebs and dust that have accumulated around and inside the smoke detectors. Vacuum out the inside of the unit and wipe around the outside with a cloth.
2. Clean your dryer vent
Hopefully, that smoke detector won’t ever have to do any real work, and cleaning out your dryer vent duct is one important way to keep that from happening.
Your dryer exhaust vent should be cleaned at least once a year, but probably more if you have a family with more loads of laundry. Lint buildup in the ducts can cause a fire. In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 homes start fire each year because the dryer ducts have not been cleaned. These types of fires occur most frequently in the fall and winter months.
Plus, keeping your ducts clean will help lower your energy bill! Here’s a helpful video showing you how to clean your dryer vent ducts. If you’re unable to perform this job yourself, that is a service we offer in the Sioux Falls and Yankton area!
3. Clean your gutters and downspouts
It’s best to wait until all the leaves have fallen to do this job, but don’t forget to do it before the snow falls.
Your gutters serve a very important purpose to your South Dakota home. Without gutters, rainwater will pool up next to your home and eventually seep through to your house’s foundation.
Once the leaves fall, they can dam up rainwater or melted snow in the gutters, prohibiting them from doing their job. Additionally, that pooled up water will freeze in the winter, which will result in damaged and sagging gutters.
Once that happens, you’ll be paying to have the gutters replaced in the spring — yikes!
4. Wash the outside of your windows
This is certainly a task you’ll want to do before it’s too cold!
Clean windows = better natural light inside your home. Once the days are shorter, you’ll want to take advantage of as much natural sunlight as you can. Regular window cleaning helps to remove dirt, pollutants, and mineral deposits that have stuck on the glass.
Don’t forget about the window screens, either! They certainly accumulate dust and spider webs and should be removed, cleaned, and replaced thoroughly this fall.
5. Schedule a Furnace Inspection
Don’t let your furnace fail you when you need it most!
Now is a great time to schedule a furnace inspection and cleaning to make sure it’s in good running order and ready for the cold temperatures. If you don’t maintenance your furnace, it may need to work hard to run well — leaving you with a higher heat bill!