The best rule of thumb is to change your air filters once a month — even if they don’t appear dirty.
You may consider checking your filters more regularly if you have one or more pets.
Failure to change your ﬁlter monthly may result in the failure of the HVAC system. If the tech deems the failure was caused by a dirty or clogged ﬁlter, the cost to repair will be your responsibility.
Make sure you use the proper type of ﬁlter as the wrong type of ﬁlter can limit air ﬂow and possibly even freeze your air conditioning system.
Changing and replacing lightbulbs throughout the home and outside the home is the tenant’s responsibility.
LED bulbs are the longest lasting and most efficient. Consider changing out bulbs to LED bulbs, as they can last up to 25 times longer than a regular bulb.
SMOKE DETECTOR AND THERMOSTAT BATTERIES
It is the responsibility of the resident to change and replace batteries in smoke detectors and thermostats.
No one likes to get stuck with a beeping smoke detector late at night. To prevent this, change the batteries in each device twice a year.
While you are changing the batteries check for any dust build-up on the unit and vacuum if necessary.
Also, don’t forget to check and replace the batteries in your thermostats at least twice a year.
GFCI Power outlets should be tested at least once a year by the tenant.
Most power outlets in modern homes are GFCI outlets or ground fault circuit interrupter outlets. This device adds a greater level of security by minimizing risk of electric shock.
A GFCI outlet is more sensitive and acts faster than a circuit breaker or fuse and is thus an important safety feature.
A GFCI outlet has a “Test” and a “Reset” button. Pressing the “Test” button will trip the outlet and break the circuit. Pressing the “Reset” will restore the circuit.
If pressing the test button does not work, then replace the GFCI outlet. If the outlet does pop when you press the “Test” button, but the outlet still has power, the outlet is miswired. A miswired outlet is dangerous and it should be called in immediately.
WINDOWS AND WINDOW COVERINGS
Dust blinds and window coverings regularly to prevent build up.
You also may consider deep-cleaning your blinds every 3 to 4 months.
Gently dust the blinds with a feather duster to remove light dust.
You can also use a soft cloth or a vacuum with the upholstery brush attachment. Rotate the blinds and remove dust from the front and back surfaces.
You may also consider dusting the window seal and also checking the window to ensure no excess moisture has entered through the window.
Every home should have a properly rated, up-to-date fire extinguisher that is readily accessible in the home.
Fire extinguishers come with a warranty (typically 10 years) and should be replaced once the warranty expires.
DRYER VENT AND DUCTS
It is the responsibility of the resident to clean the dryer vent and ducting of line regularly. It is extremely important to perform this task often as it is one of the most common causes of house ﬁres.
Lint tends to build up in 3 areas: inside the lint trap, inside the ﬂexible duct hose behind the dryer, and inside the in-wall duct work leading to the outside vent ﬂap.
There are also professional companies that can clean for you. VillagePM recommends Dryer Vent Wizard (dryerventwizard.com or 866.390.7233) or Ashbusters (ashbusters.net or 615.459.2546
DRAINS AND PIPES
It is your responsibility to keep kitchen and bathroom drains clean and clear.
You don’t need an assortment of chemicals to minimize drain odors or to keep your sinks fresh. In fact, use household items to prevent clogged drains, but be sure to clear them if they do become clogged.
Use a plunger to unclog your drain. Place the plunger over the drain in your sink and use the handle to push and pull several times to unclog your drain.
Be sure to keep large food scraps and liquid grease out of kitchen drains and to run the garbage disposal regularly with water.
Keep hair out of bathroom drains. Install screens over drain in showers and tubs, and pull out what hair you can every few weeks.
RODENTS AND PEST CONTROL
To help prevent uninvited guests, always make sure you are keeping trash in an appropriate and approved container and are disposing of it regularly and properly.
Look for droppings and possible damage done to wiring, insulation, siding, rooﬁng, etc., for mice, birds, squirrels, insects, etc. Also, make sure to check attic areas and crawlspaces — especially during colder months.
For granite countertops, use a sealer to protect your stone and be sure to clean up spills immediately.
Clean stone surfaces with a sponge or soft cloth. Preferably, use a speciﬁcally formulated stone cleaner, but warm water and a basic liquid dish soap will do for quick clean-ups. However, repeated or excessive use of soap will cause build-up and dull your countertop’s shine.
Use trivets or mats under hot dishes or cookware and placemats under china, ceramics, and other objects that could scratch stone surfaces.
Never use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub cleaners in the kitchen.
Hardwood ﬂooring naturally expands and contracts throughout the seasons and will react to moisture. Be sure to wipe up spills on hardwoods immediately and place rugs and doormats along high traffic areas.
In addition, keep animal nails trimmed to prevent ﬁnish scratches and use furniture leg protector pads on all furniture to prevent scratching.