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Home Maintenance 

Monthly Checklist



Home Maintenance Monthly Checklist: January

Kelly Marsh

Who is Kelly Marsh? Brookhaven knows the name Kelly Marsh...

Who is Kelly Marsh? Brookhaven knows the name Kelly Marsh...

Dec 11 7 minutes read

January Home Maintenance Checklist

Change Furnace/Air Conditioning  Filters

WHAT: The main purpose of a furnace filter is to protect the blower fan from all the dust, hair and other gunk the return ducts pulls in. While it will also help the quality of your inside air (as it is removing contaminants from being recirculated), its job is not to actually clean your air as many people believe. 

WHEN: Every 90 Days / Every 3 Months 

SIZE: To find out what size filter your furnace uses, remove and check the old filter (the size should be written on the frame of the filter) or refer to your furnace manual. Furnace filters are sized by thickness (depth), height and length. The most common thickness is 1”, with 4” also being a popular choice on larger systems. Height and length combinations range from 10”x10” all the way to 30”x30”. The most common sizes are 14”x25”, 16”x20”, 16”x25”, 20”x25”, and 25”x25”. 

HOW: Open the filter compartment door (this will be between the air intake and furnace itself) and slide the old filter out and properly dispose of it (it will be dusty so try to place it in a bag as quickly and gently as possible). If you have a permanent filter, vacuum it off before rinsing it thoroughly with water. Allow it to completely dry before putting it back inside your furnace. 

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Change Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detector Batteries

WHAT: Even if you've been checking these detectors monthly as recommended, changing the batteries regularly will help ensure they always have power.  

WHEN: Once or twice a year 

HOW: If the detector is mounted on the ceiling or wall, grasp the unit, gently turn counter clockwise, and remove it from its base. If it's hard wired, you'll need to disconnect the wiring by unscrewing the wire nut, and pulling the unit's wire away from the wall wire.  Remove the battery cover, and replace existing batteries with new ones, ensuring they are facing the correct direction in the battery housing. Replace the battery housing cover, and return the unit to its base, reconnecting any hard wiring in the process.  Press the test button to ensure the unit is getting power.

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Vacuum Refrigerator Coils

WHAT: Refrigerator coils are critical to pushing heat out, so removing the dust and dirt will make it more efficient at keeping the inside of the refrigerator cold. 

WHEN: Once a year, or every six months if homeowner has pets

HOW: Gently pull the refrigerator away from the wall and unplug the refrigerator. Next, locate the coils. They should be in one of two places: On the back -- They should be easy to locate. Look for a metal grid attached to the back of the appliance. Or on the bottom--This is where it gets tricky. You don’t want to upend your fridge, so coils on the bottom usually have a grate in front that you can remove and then stick the vacuum cleaner attachment in there for cleaning. Look under the door for the grate and gently remove it. If you have trouble, consult your owner’s manual for more specific instructions. Then, start vacuuming. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner hose. The crevice tool might come in handy as well – there are even same vacuum attachments made specifically for refrigerator coils, so you may want to look into that. Be firm but cautious – you want to get as much grime off the coils as possible without damaging them, so take your time and don’t force it. 

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Recurring Monthly Maintenance 

Test Carbon Monoxide Detectors

WHAT: A carbon monoxide detector or CO detector is a device that detects the presence of the carbon monoxide gas to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. 

WHEN: Monthly

HOW: To test a carbon monoxide detector, hold down the “test” button until you hear two beeps sound off. Once you hear these beeps, release your finger off of the test button. Recreate this event, but this time hold down the test button until you hear four beeps. If the four beeps are heard, you know that a signal was sent to your monitoring station. After 10-15 minutes the CO alarm will return from test mode back to its original setting. If for some reason the device doesn’t return to its original setting, you’ll need to perform a power cycle. 

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Test Smoke Detectors

WHAT: A smoke detector is a device that senses smoke, typically as an indicator of fire. 

WHEN: Monthly

HOW: This style of testing occurs when an operator simply clicks on the test button that is present on a smoke detecting device. Pressing this button alone will conduct a test. Once the button is pressed, a few seconds will pass before the test starts, but you’ll know the test in process whenever you begin to hear a loud, piercing siren that comes via the smoke detector. 

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Clean Garbage Disposal

WHAT: A garbage disposal unit is a device, usually electrically powered, installed under a kitchen sink between the sink's drain and the trap. The disposal unit shreds food waste into pieces small enough—generally less than 2 mm —to pass through plumbing. 

WHEN: Monthly

HOW: Kosher salt is an effective abrasive cleaner that can adequately dislodge slimy residue. First, pour a large cup of ice cubes into the garbage disposal, switch it on while adding a half-cup of the salt. The ice and salt combination should grind away what remains of the odor-causing residue. This is yet another quick fix to a dirty drain using simple items that you already have in your freezer and pantry. 

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Run Water & Flush Toilets in Unused Spaces

WHAT: Run water and flush toilets. This helps prevent the buildup of grime. You will also refill the trap which blocks sewer gas from entering the home.  

WHEN: Monthly

HOW: Run the water through unused faucets and shower/baths for 2 minutes. Also flush all unused toilets.

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