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Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

Five questions homeowners should ask each spring

From warming temperatures to chirping birds, robin sightings to melting snow, there's no shortage of symbols and signs that indicate spring is in the air. Even domestic tasks have become synonymous with the season, as many people will take up their spring cleaning just as soon as the vernal equinox sets in.

In fact, according to a survey performed by the American Cleaning Institute, nearly three in every four households conducts some type of spring cleaning on a yearly basis.

But just as the windows, blinds, curtains and living spaces need to be spruced up when spring arrives, so too do portions of a residence that require maintenance in order to perform at their best. Seeing to it that appliances, heating sources and drainage systems, among other parts of a residence, are up to par can ensure that they won't be a problem the next time they're put to use, thereby saving homeowners time and money.

Has the house been canvassed thoroughly for signs of problems?
Before deciding what aspects of the house need to be addressed, it's wise to perform one's own home inspection process by creating a chart that details all the aspects of the home that may or may not be in need of maintenance. Once this is determined, homeowners can put off when they start dealing with it for another time, as that list will help them recall what requires fixing.

Is the air conditioner fully operational?
For example, though the temperatures of spring may not be warm enough to fire up the air conditioner, it won't be long before the weather takes on a decidedly different feel, illustrated by increased humidity and rising mercury levels. Thus, for people who have central air conditioning, check to see that the drain pan is free of clear so that problems don't materialize when the weather gets warmer. But if homeowners would rather leave the AC's maintenance to the pros, technicians can tune up the system relatively affordably, ensuring that it's operating at its peak when conditions become oppressive.

Central air may be too much of an expense for some homeowners, which is why air conditioners serve as an effective alternative. These not only are less costly to operate but are rather easily maintained as well. For example, there should be a way to check the filter simply by pulling out the screen that's mounted in front. Check to see that there isn't any debris that could gum up the system. If it's in disrepair, consult with the manufacturer to see if a particular type of filter needs to be used or whether a generic one will suffice.

Are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors working?
For most Americans in spring, the season signals the beginning of daylight savings time. This has become known widely as an occasion that homeowners use to ensure that their fire safety is up to par. After turning the clocks back an hour, check the home's fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. There should be a "test" button of some kind that, once pushed, should sound off. If nothing happens, ensure that the batteries are fully functioning and replace them if they're not working.

Have heating sources been cleaned?
Now that the weather is warmer, homeowners won't be needing their fireplace or wood stoves for at least six to eight months. And once that time of year rolls around, the last thing homeowners will want to do is clean out what was left behind after using them last year. Thus, consider having any services needed for these heat sources when they stop being used rather than just before they're put back into operation.

Have flood risk precautions been addressed?
Finally, due to melting snow and the changing weather risks, flooding is a common problem in spring. This can spell problems for people who live in low-lying areas or for those in a flood zone. This makes it important to ensure that the sump pump is fully operational before conditions settle in that increase the risk of flooding. For example, the discharge pipe may have been disconnected at some point during the winter. Check to see that it is connected and that it's appropriately situated so that any high water levels drift away, rather than toward, the home's  foundation.