Listen Up First-Time Homeowners: 4 Home Chores not to Overlook

As a first-time homeowner, you are probably well aware of some of the regular maintenance chores you have to do. Things like mowing the lawn, cleaning the windows and changing the batteries in the smoke detector every six months are already on your radar. But there are plenty of less-obvious home care tasks that should also be part of your to do list. Be sure to regularly do the following:

Check and clean gutters

During the fall and winter months, gutters are notorious for filling up with dead leaves, small branches and other debris. To help ensure the gutters can do their job of draining rainwater away from your home’s foundation, they need to be cleaned out at least once a year. To get into a routine, pick a date every spring to clean out all of the accumulated muck and make sure the gutters and downspouts are securely attached to your home. If you are unsure about climbing up on the roof, hire a professional to take care of this messy but necessary task.

Change your HVAC filters

To help your air conditioner and heater work as efficiently as possible, proper air flow is a necessity. One of the easiest ways to ensure this is to change your air filters regularly. As Art of Manliness notes, most experts advise changing the filter every month, but if only one or two people live in your new home and you don’t have pets, you might get by with every other month. You should check the filters every 30 days and if they look grungy, toss them in the trash and replace them. The filters have the dimensions listed on the end so you know which size to purchase at your local home improvement store.

clean gutters

Clean out the dryer vent

Because you probably have no idea if or when the last homeowners cleaned out the dryer vent, tackle this chore as you are moving in. Prior to plugging in the dryer, check and clean the dryer vent. Use a vacuum wand to reach as high up into the vent as you can. Once the dryer is hooked up and running, go outside and find the vent and make sure that only air and steam are coming out and not a lot of lint. If you notice a lot of debris, an odd odor, or no air or steam coming from the vent, call in a professional to have the entire vent cleaned out.

Shock your pool regularly

If your new home has a backyard pool, you need to do more than add chlorine and vacuum it. You should also shock the pool regularly during swimming season. Pool shock is granular chlorine that is typically sold in one-pound bags. It is used to kill algae, eliminate bacteria and give a needed boost to the regular chlorine. Pool shock also breaks apart the chlorine molecules that are responsible for red and burning eyes and it can also get rid of that strong chlorine smell. Most people shock their pools once a week during the summer.

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