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Top 5 home maintenance tips

(NC) As the snow thaws and the days get longer, it's the perfect time to freshen up your home and to get a head start on spring maintenance.

Dave Walton, the director of home ideas at Direct Energy, recommends that we tackle the following tasks first:

Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – In addition to testing batteries regularly, you should change these twice a year without fail. Carbon monoxide detectors are especially important if you have fuel-burning appliances.

Replace furnace filters every three months – Clogged filters mean your air conditioner works harder, so be sure to replace them regularly to allow the central air conditioning system (and furnace) to run more efficiently.

Clean your air ducts – This reduces harmful allergens and lowers your heating and cooling costs. Clean air ducts will reduce furnace maintenance costs, will increase the lifespan of your furnace and air conditioning units, and you won't have to dust as often. Be sure the duct cleaning is performed by a professional. Get your air conditioner inspected spring is the right time for an AC inspection so you can be confident that it's in good working order before you need to turn it on.

Clean and rotate your ceiling fans – Make sure all the fans in your home are working properly and are dust-free. In the summer, the blades should operate in a counter-clockwise direction to move the air downwards and maximize air circulation so your air conditioner doesn't have to work as hard.

More information on this topic is available online at

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