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1. Maintenance

Maintaining the house is one of the most important aspects of Spring cleaning, and touches the most on household safety. Now is the time to go around switching the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms with fresh batteries. Filters will need changing as well after a long winter with the heat on and the windows closed. Filters and vents to the A/C, water, range hood, inner air, exterior foundation, and dryer should be changed and maintained as appropriate, especially the dryer vent. Allowing the dryer vent to become clogged with lint is the leading factor in the ignition of clothes dryer fires in residences, as is explained by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). To clean out your dryer vent, disconnect it from behind your machine to access any lint build up. Outside, remove the dryer vent cover to ensure there is no lint on this side as well.

2. Cleaning 

With maintenance complete, wiping down surfaces and appliances comes next. Walls, baseboards, outlets, and windows will be dusty. A simple warm water and mild soap mixture should be enough to adequately clean these surfaces. One important note is to dry outlets completely before replacing them! Clean faucets and shower heads by soaking them in a mix of equal parts vinegar and water for about an hour, then rinsing with warm water. This will help clean any hard water build up. One of the more difficult tasks is to clean the gutters of any debris and leaves, but to do this safely you may need a professional. If you have a ladder, gloves, and someone who can help, one person can hose down the gutters while the other turns on the water.

3. Weatherstripping 

Now that the windows are clean, you may consider weatherstripping windows. Most weatherstripping is done in the Fall to prepare for the Winter, but Spring is a great time to maximize your window efficiency too. Weatherstripping can help keep the Summer heat out and the A/C in during the warmer months, and vice versa come Winter. The Department of Energy (DOE) recommends adhering weatherstripping to clean, dry surfaces.

4. Bedding

With the most arduous work done, the fun can begin! Thick and heavy blankets and comforters can be put away in favor of light, more breathable fabrics like cotton and linen. Perhaps treat yourself to some new lightweight bedding to usher in the new season! Bright colors in bold patterns are gaining popularity and always cheery.  

5. Plants 

To celebrate new growth, surround yourself with greenery. The benefits of being around plants, both indoors and out, is well documented. Get the garden prepped by cleaning out garden beds, mulching trees, and pruning back unruly stems. If you can’t garden outdoors, bring them in! NASA’s Clean Air Study selected some of the most beneficial plants to bring indoors. Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, or the snake plant, is able to soak up large amounts of carbon dioxide and give back fresh oxygen. Peace lilies can remove gas like carbon monoxide from the air, but be wary if you have pets, as this plant is toxic. Golden pothos is one of the best at absorbing formaldehyde that leaks from carpets and wood furniture.

However you get prepared for Spring, consider adding a task from this list to help improve not only your home, but also you and your family’s health. Through maintaining safety devices, cleaning surfaces, maximizing energy efficiency, swapping bedding, and compiling a personal garden, you can preserve the value of your home and protect the well-being of everyone inside.

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