Clean Air Conditioner Condensers and Evaporators
A little sweat equity now will help both your wallet and your comfort level later when summer's heat sets in. Most of the job can be done without the help of a professional, and by servicing and testing out your cooling system now, you will have plenty of time to make an appointment with an air conditioning contractor if there's any unforeseen issues. After cutting off the electricity to the unit, vacuum the outdoor condenser's exterior fins with a soft-bristled brush, and clear away bushes, weeds and overgrown grass within two feet of the unit. Indoors, replace the furnace filter on the evaporator unit, vacuum the blower compartment, and clean the condensation drain.
Re-Paint the Front Door
Ask any paint manufacturer?painting is a task that's best done when the weather is mild outside, typically above 50 degrees and not too humid. If your front door has seen better days, it might be a good time to give it a fresh coat of paint. For best results, remove the door from the hinges and remove all of its hardware. Give it a good cleaning to allow the paint to adhere properly, and scrape off any buildups of paint or areas where the old paint is chipping off. When your prep is done, use a high-quality brush to edge in around the door's windows and panels, then switch to a high-density foam roller to apply two light coats to the whole door?that will ensure no brush marks.
Repair Rotted Wood
Sharpen Garden Tools
Check Your Deck
Patch Driveway Cracks
Clean Weep Holes
Tune Up the Lawn Mower
Test and Replace the Batteries in Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors should be tested monthly, and the batteries should be replaced every year, so it's a good habit to make this part of your regular spring maintenance routine. Test the batteries by simply pressing the 'test' button and making sure the unit chirps. Even if it works, replace the battery (or back-up battery, if your is a hardwired model) and re-test it. If the alarm does not pass the test, replace it immediately.
Smoke detectors have a lifespan of 10 years, so look for a 'replace by' sticker or date embossed on the inside of the unit to see if it needs to be replaced, even if it passes the chirp test. If you can't find a date, replace it anyway immediately. On new detectors, make sure to write the 'installed' date on the inside cover on a piece of masking tape. Get all the info you need on installing smoke alarms here.
Tune-Up Outdoor Gas Grills
No matter what your recipe is, the best burgers are cooked on a clean, well-maintained grill. Before cookout season kicks off, give your grill a once-over. Look for food drippings and grease buildup on the exterior, which can attract pests, and scrub these spots with a brass-bristle brush and soapy water. To clean the grates, light the burners, close the lid, and let the grease drip off for 15 minutes. Turn the flame off and let the grill cool until it's warm, which will make easier work of removing any grime. Use a brass-bristled brush or wadded up aluminum foil for this step.
To service the burner assembly, unfasten the burner and disconnect the gas tubes from the gas lines. Lift out the whole unit and use a soft cloth and soapy water to clean the gas tubes and burner unit. Finally, clean the drip pan thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Get the full step-by-step grill tune-up instructions here.