April is prime time for spring cleaning, gardening, and enjoying springtime. This year, go beyond dusting and mopping. Our checklist covers home improvement and safety tips for indoor and outdoor tasks. Learn how to boost your home’s curb appeal, kick spring allergens, and get a head start on the spring thaw this April.
Spring allergies can leave you sniffling and sneezing, but there are a few ways you can fight back. Here are a few simple ways to improve air quality in your home.
Good Old Fashioned Cleaning
Never underestimate the power of a good old fashioned cleaning. Regular dusting and vacuuming can keep the allergens in your home to a tolerable minimum. But if your allergies continue, deep clean surfaces that don’t get as much attention.
Ceiling fans and window sills are popular gathering spots for dust bunnies. Check under the couch and furniture for other spots to clean.
And don’t forget the laundry. Washing bed sheets, curtains, and rugs in spring can lower the dust mite population in your home, letting you breathe easier.
Air purifiers aren’t a cure-all, but they sure can help. Look for one that matches the area you want to treat. Personal air purifiers cover about 200 square feet while home air purifiers can cover up to 1,000. Choose one with a HEPA filter, the recommendation of organizations like the American Lung Association and the Environmental Protection agency. See our full comparison of the top air purifiers for your home.
Clean Out the Vents
All that dusting and air purifying won’t do much good unless you change the vents in your HVAC system, bathrooms, and hallways. Make sure that dust, dander, and pollen gets trapped by a clean filter.
Don’t forget the laundry room—the dryer vents in your laundry room may also need a little cleaning. Plus, not cleaning the lint trap can create a fire hazard.
2. Outdoor and Deck Maintenance
Once the snow and ice has cleared, it’s time to clean off the deck and outdoor areas for spring. Your porch, windows, screens, and drainage system may have taken on dirt and damage.
Pressure washing the deck, porch, sidewalks, and side of your house improves curb appeal, but it also keeps your home healthy. All that set-in dirt, grime, and mildew can damage wood and siding if it’s not treated. This April, buy a pressure washer or rent one from a hardware store.
Take a look at the weatherstripping on your windows and doors. If the rubber or foam looks worn, it’s time to replace it. Weather stripping keeps those April showers out and the AC or heat inside.
Weatherstripping also makes your doors and windows seal tighter, making them harder for intruders to break through. After all, the first seven days of April mark Window Safety Week.
Consider adding contact sensors to your doors and windows. You can find standalone devices or add them to your existing security system. These handy gadgets ping when a door or window opens, letting you keep tabs on kids, visitors, and even unwelcome guests.
3. Compost, Create, and Conserve
April 22 is Earth Day, a celebration of all things green and sustainable. You can pitch in with a few of these home improvement ideas or April.
Coffee grounds, egg shells, veggie clippings, and tons of organic materials get tossed into landfills every day. Turn your trash into a pile of smelly gold for your garden by starting a composting routine.
Composting bins are affordable and easy to use. It takes a few weeks for all the materials to decompose (why we recommend keeping the bin outside), but after that time it turns into nutrient-rich material perfect for planting and gardening.
Keep an indoor bin for kitchen scraps and an outdoor bin to do the actual composting. Check with your local services to see if compost collecting is available in your area. If you don’t have space for your own compost, the city might be able to use it.
What you can compost: Organic materials like eggshells, coffee grounds (and filters), old newspapers, tea, and tea bags, pet and human hair, and small pieces of wood like matches or toothpicks. Aim for a mix of soft, organic material and sturdier materials for the best results.
What you can’t compost: Dairy and animal products take longer to break down and attract pests. Oils, fats, and animal waste (thanks, Fido) are also bad choices for your compost pile.
Plant a Tree for Earth Day
Plant a tree in your backyard to celebrate Earth Day this year. There are tons of helpful sources for selecting placement and caring for your new sapling. It’s a great activity to do with your kids as you watch them and your new tree grow tall and strong.
Check to see if your area has an urban forestry program. The program will send you a tree to plant in your yard or parking strip. All you have to do is keep it watered and happy. You can also get help from the urban forestry department if you have questions about planting a new tree on your property.
These devices give you control over your energy use while you’re home or away. Turn lights and appliances off and on remotely, and even change the temperature of your home. Solar powered lights don’t need electricity from your home to work, making them a green option for outdoor devices.
4. Prepare for Summer
Summer may still be a couple of months away, but there are a few things you can do before the heat kicks in. April is a great time to check on your HVAC system, sprinklers, patio, and grill.
Check the Sprinklers
Start the season by checking or installing your sprinkler system in April. Before installing sprinklers, be sure the ground below you is fully thawed, remove any obstructions like rocks or sticks, check the water pressure, and test the valves.
Test the Air Conditioning
After it’s been benched all winter, check your AC unit to make sure it’s ready for late spring and summer. Check that all the panels are intact, repair or replace any pipe damage, clean up that beauty, and test it.
Wash Patio Furniture
Don’t wait until June to enjoy your patio or porch. Dust off the tables and chairs and set them out in April to enjoy the sunshine and a good book. Wipe down all the furniture with disinfectant wipes and wash any cushions or covers. Pati-oh yeah.
Clean off the Grill
Fresh grilled veggies and juicy burgers never go out of season—it’s just finally nice enough to grill outside. Start by cleaning the char off the grill and dumping the old charcoal or checking your propane tank levels.
April Home Maintenance Tips FAQ
How do I prepare for spring and summer storms?
April brings warmer air that clashes with the leftover cold air from winter. All this blending means tornados and storms throughout the country. The Southeast and Midwest tend to get hit especially hard. Here are a few quick tips to plan for storm season.
Find Some Shelter: basements and storm shelters are best, but if these aren’t available, choose an interior room with small or no windows (like a bathroom) to wait out the storm.
Use A Weather Radio: tornados can knock out cell service, so keep a weather radio on hand with access to NOAA weather reports and multiple power sources.
What can I do to keep my home safe all year?
Cleaning your gutters regularly can keep your roof in good shape. Regularly testing fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors is also a good habit to start. And if you have a home security system, we recommend testing it once a month too.
Amazon.com list price as of 4/01/20 9:20 p.m. MST. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.
Written by Katie McEntire
Katie McEntire has tested home security systems in her own apartment, installed GPS trackers in her own car, and watched her cat, Toki, nap all day through a live nanny cam feed. As an expert reviewer, she believes that firsthand experience is the best way to learn about new products (even if it requires being the guinea pig). She specializes in pet safety and DIY security and has contributed to publications like DigitalCare.org and TechGuySmartBuy. Learn more