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Monthly Maintenance Musts You Might Have Forgotten About

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When you own a home, the maintenance required can seem unending at times. During the summer, you need to remember to change your air conditioning filters. In the winter, you should check your oil levels so you aren't caught unaware with no heat or hot water on a freezing cold day. The lawn needs to be mowed weekly in the summer, leaves raked in the fall, snow shoveled in the winter and weeds pulled in the spring. There are some maintenance tasks that are easy to forget about, though, because they don't give you a visual (or uncomfortable temperature) reminder.

Protect Your Home From Fire

You have two basic appliances that can help keep your home and family safe in case of a fire. The first is the smoke detector. You should have one on each floor of your home and in each sleeping area, and the detector should be checked quarterly. The easiest way to do this is to push the little red or white button with a broom handle. If you hear a nearly deafening shriek, your smoke detector is working just fine.

The other safety device you have is your fire extinguisher. Keep one in the kitchen and one in the garage, and check them both each month. This doesn't entail much effort; you just need to make sure it's relatively dust-free and clean, that you know where it is, and that the pressure is what it should be as indicated on the extinguisher itself. If the pressure goes down, you'll need to replace it.

Clean the Hidden Areas of Your Kitchen

Your kitchen has a lot of nooks and crannies that can get disgusting pretty quickly! Remembering to maintain them can keep unpleasant odors at bay and might even prevent insects from wanting to make your kitchen their home.

Clean out your hood grease filter on a monthly basis. It catches lots of cooking grease, and if you don't keep it clean, all of that grease will instead be coating your cabinets, microwave, stove and other surface areas. The Family Handyman recommends using auto degreaser and hot water to break up the oils and grease that accumulate over time.

If you smell something foul in or around your kitchen sink, you'll know it's time to clean out the garbage disposal. Run ice cubes and vinegar or lemon wedges through it regularly. Plan to do it every week or every month, depending on how much you use it.

You'll want to clean out your oven and your refrigerator's drip pan quarterly, too. These jobs don't take long when you keep up with them and do them frequently enough to avoid a heavy buildup of goo.

Check Your Garage Door

You probably don't think much about your garage door other than when your automatic opener needs new batteries, but it's essential to check the door monthly. A malfunctioning garage door can not only damage your vehicle, but also injure people and pets who happen to be in the garage.

First, look at it visually each month to make sure that the movable parts all seem to be in place. Then, test the automatic reverse feature on the door. Place a 2x4 laying flat under where the door closes, and try to close the door. If it's working properly, the door will reverse once it hits the wood. If it does not, it could potentially close on a child or pet. This is a hazard, and should be fixed by a garage door repair company, which you can find online at a site like

By keeping up with regular maintenance in your home, you can save yourself from unnecessary replacement costs and discomfort. If you are not sure how to maintain something, check the owner's manual or call a repair company for advice.