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Avoid home maintenance headaches by paying attention to these small tasks

By Paul F. P. Pogue, Angie’s List

By early November, you’ve probably completed all the major home maintenance tasks to get ready for winter, such as changing your HVAC filters, weatherproofing your home, getting a furnace inspection, and so forth. But in the midst of all this, you may be wondering what you’re missing. Sometimes the smallest details give you the biggest headaches. But you can head those off by attending to these simple tasks.

Handle the easily missed home tasks 

Many tasks around the home build up over time — and you might not even think about them, even during a major household cleaning. Take some time to go through your house and hit all the smaller things you rarely think about.

Give your dishwasher and refrigerator a good cleaning. All that buildup inside the dishwasher can slow down its effectiveness, and you’ll appreciate a fresh refrigerator when holiday cooking gets going.

Take a look at all your appliances for cleaning needs. You probably keep your microwave and oven reasonably clean already, but they could likely use a good scrub. Toasters and toaster ovens build up crumbs, so take out the lower crumb trap and clean it out.

Check your clothes dryer lint trap and the outgoing hoses for lint buildup. Long-term lint can create a fire hazard. Consider hiring a professional to clear out your dryer vents.

Your garbage disposal builds up gunk that’s both smelly and damaging to the disposal itself. Clean it by running water and emptying ice cubes into the disposal, then let water run for a minute. Chop up a lemon and feed it down the disposal to get rid of unpleasant smells. Don’t use caustic drain cleaners on the disposal, which can corrode its innards. Also, don’t forget to clean the rubber splash gasket on the drain, which accumulates nasty buildup as well.

Preserve household safety 

The coming of winter, with larger crowds in your home, more electrical usage under way, and heaters operating, makes safety an even bigger priority. Take this opportunity for a regular safety review.

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