Make Your Home Safe, Warm and Squeaky Clean

Chimney Sweep
By Paul Denikin, Getting a jump on home maintenance is smart. By doing preventative upkeep, you can save yourself costly repairs and keep things running smoothly and efficiently. Here are some preparations you can make now before the temperatures fall. Safe and warm. Some of the basic maintenance items you should tend now will help keep your home cozy and can prevent tragedy.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The experts at Huffington Post recommend you replace the detectors’ batteries and test devices to ensure they are working properly. It’s also a great time to check the expiration date on your home’s fire extinguisher.
  • Before engaging your home’s heating system, you should schedule an inspection by a certified professional. Head into winter knowing your unit is functioning properly.
  • Adding insulation can improve your home’s efficiency and prevent winter drafts. You’ll save energy, be more comfortable and save money on your heating bills.
  • Linens and blankets. Pull out quilts, blankets and flannel sheets to freshen them.
  • Install storm windows. It’s a good time to also wash windows and clean the screens before storing them.
  • Window treatments. Some experts recommend replacing lightweight coverings with heavier ones for cooler weather.
  • Fireplace and chimney. Hire a professional to inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney. Fireplaces used regularly should be maintained annually to prevent fires.
    • According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to hire a professional chimney sweep in San Diego is $116 to $317, with other state ranges falling within a similar range. The service takes approximately six hours. It’s a small investment to ensure you can enjoy your fireplace worry-free during winter. Check HomeAdvisor for estimates in your area.
Squeaky clean. Winter usually means spending more time inside. Do some deep cleaning before settling in.
  • Some professionals recommend a thorough, top-to-bottom dusting of every room. Follow this with a thorough vacuuming of carpets and drapes.
  • Get your closets into shape before winter. Exchange your warm weather wardrobe for your cool weather clothes. Cull clothing you don’t wear and create a donation box.
  • Major appliances. Vacuum under your stove, refrigerator, and washer and dryer. Thoroughly vacuum your dryer vent. Clean the inside of your oven.
  • The experts at Reader’s Digest suggest microwaving some wet paper towels on high for three to five minutes to dampen and loosen grime. Once they cool use them to wipe the interior of your microwave. Deodorizing your unit is equally simple. Microwave one cup of water combined with a half cup of lemon juice in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for three to five minutes. Allow the mixture to stand an additional five to ten minutes before removing.
  • Lights and fans. Clean and dust light fixtures and ceiling fans. Catch other hard-to-reach places such as the top edges of doors and door frames.
  • Clean natural stone. Cleaning natural-stone surfaces prevents germs from living in crevices. Here are some tips from the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold:
  1. Disinfecting stone: Select a mild antibacterial dish soap and mix it with warm water, then apply to stone surfaces. Then apply Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® to prevent or remove streaks.
  2. Avoid common household cleaners, which aren’t formulated for natural stone. They’ll dull the professional finish and will strip the protective seal, which will lead to stains and etches as well as costly repair and replacement of your stone.
  3. Regularly follow a three-step routine to maintain natural stone.
  4. Use cutting boards for food preparation; it will limit the amount of spills directly onto the stone.
Home sweet home. By following these handy guidelines, your home will be ready for the cooler weather. Do your safety checks and repairs, pull things together to keep warm, and do some deep cleaning for comfort.

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