Your Annual Home Tech Maintenance Checklist

Today's my birthday, y'all! I was reminded, of course, a few weeks ago when I got a letter in the mail letting me know to pay my annual vehicle registration fee. Yay. But it got me thinking that your birthday is a good time each year to go through your home tech and tackle a few basic maintenance tasks. Here's my plan—you can borrow it for your next birthday.

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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.



(Images: Flickr member Karin Biel licensed for use under Creative Commons, DIY Network)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, and designer in Atlanta, Georgia. Living in an apartment with her husband and their Boston Terrier, Bacon, she loves to entertain and hates having a tiny kitchen.