Clean and Organize
Even if you use a professional cleaning service, you’ll still need some in-between maintenance:
• Divide clutter into three groups: junk, charity and undecided. Toss the first, give away the second and store the third until you decide whether it’s worth keeping.
• To reduce dirt, use only one entry door into your home and use doormats inside and outside.
• Clean the house and each room from the top down. Dust first, vacuum last. Scrub, wipe and polish in straight lines instead of circles. Squeegee windows and mirrors with an initial horizontal stroke across the top, then vertical strokes, wiping the blade after each stroke.
• Store basic cleaning supplies in an apron or bucket and carry them with you from task to task.
• Change furnace filter and replace vacuum bags monthly.
Don’t miss vents when you dust.
For more cleaning tips or to book a professional cleaning service to give your home top-to-bottom treatment, visit www.MerryMaids.com.
Want to reduce cooling costs? Follow these tips:
• Have air conditioning systems professionally inspected and cleaned before the season.
• Keep the area around the exterior condensing unit clear of obstructions to ensure adequate airflow.
• Clean or replace the air conditioner filter monthly to save up to 10 percent on your bill.
• Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for unit maintenance.
• If your air conditioning system breaks down, a home warranty can help protect you from unexpected repair costs. It covers the repair or replacement of many of the most common home system component breakdowns regardless of age, and can be purchased any time, not just when a home is bought or sold. Last summer, American Home Shield responded to nearly 700,000 requests for air conditioning repairs during record-breaking heat waves. To learn more about home warranties, visit www.YouTube.com/TheAHSTeam.
Termites cause more than $5 billion in annual damage across the country. Unfortunately, termite destruction can go unnoticed for years and is rarely covered by homeowners insurance.
“If you detect a termite swarm, it could mean your house has already suffered damage,” says Paul Curtis, Terminix entomologist.
While eliminating termites requires the help of a trained professional, there are ways to make your home less inviting to these wood-destroying pests:
• Fix roof and plumbing leaks.
• Clean gutters to avoid water accumulation near the foundation.
• Don’t pile mulch, firewood or soil against your house, which can hide termite activity and allow easy access into the home.
• Prompt treatment and annual inspections can save thousands of dollars in damage repair.
For more information on this year’s termite swarm season or to schedule an inspection, visit www.Terminix.com.
For more information on companies that can save you time and money on home maintenance, visit www.ServiceMaster.com.
By working smarter, not harder, you can save money and free your weekends to better enjoy your home.