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9 spring home-maintenance tips

Spring is a time of renewal in nature – and for our homes, which can take a beating from the cold and bluster of winter.

So in addition to getting outside for leisure pursuits, it’s important to set aside time this spring to tend to home-maintenance needs that can save time and energy and promote safety.

Here are nine tips:

1. Smoke detectors: Change the batteries each spring and fall. It’s ideal to have smoke detectors on each floor and in or near bedrooms.

2. Roof/gutters: Inspect for missing or shifted shingles that could allow water to get in. Make sure the gutters are free of leaves or other debris (even a plastic ball) that can prevent them from moving water away from your home.

3. HVAC: Have a professional tune up for your air-conditioning unit. Clean or replace the air filter regularly; a dirty filter makes the unit work harder than it should.

4. Sidewalks and driveways: Fix cracks to ensure a safe, level surface on which to walk, ride a bike, skateboard.

5. Paint: Repair cracked or peeling exterior paint, not only to improve the appearance of your home but to protect it against the elements.

6. Door and window seals: Cold winter temperatures can cause cracks in caulk and other seals, which are intended to prevent water and hot air from getting in and cool air from escaping.

7. Windows and screens: Wash them for aesthetic reasons but also to take advantage of refreshing breezes instead of running air-conditioning when you don’t have to. Make sure screens don’t have holes.

8. Lawn mower: Change the oil and sharpen the blade to keep your machine running efficiently and cutting effectively. Keep oil and gas in a vented area away from children.

9. Gas grill: After completing Nos. 1-8, you might want to kick back and relax with a cookout. Make sure that your grill’s hoses and burners are operating properly. Propane leaks are easy to detect: they smell like rotten eggs.

This is our list. Do you have any tips that you would like to share in the comment section below?