Once a year, using your birthday or some other milestone as a reminder, go through your home tech and give it a little love. Things will work better, last longer and keep you comfortable and safe:
- Unblock the AC. Take the vents off your A/C unit and give them a good deep clean to clear up anything that's blocking your flow.
- Clean fridge coils. Save yourself nearly 6 percent on your utility bills by scrubbing down those cooling coils behind (or under) your refrigerator.
- Test your smoke detector. You're supposed to do it more frequently, but you should test your smoke detector and change its batteries at least annually.
- Backup your computer. I'll admit I don't do this every few months as suggested. If you're a backup slacker like me, at least make it part of your birthday checklist.
- Flush your garbage disposal. Send a little warm water and baking soda down your garbage disposal to clean it out. Add a little lemon peel if there's an odor.
- Vacuum your clothes dryer. Go heavy-duty with the lint trap and vacuum up any open ducts or hoses.
- Glance at your hidden wires. You do such a good job of hiding wires that you might not see if they need to be replaced or repaired. Check behind the TV or desk for old, frayed cords.
- Deep clean your switch plates. Nothing else in your house gets as much action. Use your birthday as a reason to pull off each light switch plate in your house and (carefully!) wipe everything down.