The temperature is now starting to cool down, the air is no longer as humid, and people are starting to trade in their shorts and flip-flops for light jackets and scarves. The summer season is starting to come to a close. While it has certainly been fun frolicking under the sun and hanging out by the water, it’s time to prepare for the next season—and what’s a better way to do that than accomplishing some post-summer maintenance tasks?
Before the next season rolls in, here are some home maintenance tasks that you should tick off your checklist:
Clean the air conditioner filter
If you’re like any other household, you’ve probably had your air conditioner running all summer to fend off the heat. While the electric bill is likely the first thing you’re worried about, don’t forget that you need to clean your AC filter before it starts affecting your unit’s performance. A dirty air filter can reduce your AC’s efficiency—and not only that, but it can also make your unit more prone to failure.
Hire an AC service company to clean your air conditioner filter before or after summer ends. You can also do this yourself if you have the experience and the right tools, but otherwise, it’s best to have a professional do it for you.
Clean the garbage cans
Bacteria grow faster in hotter climates, which means that your garbage cans likely have millions of colonies thriving as we speak. If it’s been a while since you last cleaned out your garbage cans, take advantage of the good weather to do it today. Clean both the interior and exterior of your garbage cans with an all-purpose cleaner and water, then leave them out in the sun to dry.
If they smell, deodorize your cans by sprinkling them with baking soda. You can also spray your garbage cans with diluted bleach, ammonia, or window cleaner to deter pests that seek out food in the trash.
Shock the pool
If you have a pool, it probably gets the most activity during the summer months. Now that the perfect weather for swimming is about to go away, it’s high time to get rid of the buildup of chloramines (compounds that result from the combination of chlorine and sweat, urine, and oil) as well as any other contaminant that doesn’t belong in your pool water. You need to remove these contaminants to prevent them from causing irritation and sickness on people that use your pool.
There are different types of chlorinating shock treatments that you can choose from, such as lithium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite, and sodium dichlor. It is best to shock your pool during the night and wait at least eight hours before using the pool again. To make sure that the water is safe to swim in, check if the chlorine levels are at or below 3ppm (parts per million).
Wash the windows
Summer is the best time to wash your windows because the warm weather will help them dry quicker, avoiding those pesky water spots. Use soapy water or window cleaner to wash your windows, then use a squeegee to get rid of the suds quickly. The hot weather will likely dry up the remaining moisture in minutes, so you don’t have to worry about drying the glass manually.
If you want to wash second-floor windows, be sure to employ proper safety measures or better yet, hire a professional to do it for you.
Clean the refrigerator
As mentioned before, bacteria grows faster in hotter climates, even in the refrigerator. Make it a point to clean your refrigerator before summer ends. Throw away anything old or moldy, then wipe down surfaces with antibacterial soap and water. Pay special attention to the areas where you store fresh produce and meat, as these places usually harbor the most bacteria. Furthermore, consider wiping down containers before you put them back into the refrigerator to minimize the bacteria you reintroduce to them.
Check for leaks
You are likely using water fixtures in the summer more often, including your outdoor faucets, so it only makes sense to inspect your home for leaks. Leaks can easily lead to mold growth, especially in the summer where humidity is high. Nip the problem in the bud by inspecting for and fixing leaks around the house ASAP.
Every season comes with a unique set of maintenance tasks that you have to do around the house—and summer is no different. Before summer officially ends, make it a point to tick these tasks off your checklist. In doing so, not only are you preparing for the next season—but you’re also avoiding the headaches that you would otherwise experience if you don’t.