March 21, 2013

Tips on Spring Home Prep

Just like winterizing, NHSCA says adding home appliances to cleaning list in spring just as important.

Lenexa, KS – The experts with the National Home Service Contract Association advise that cleaning and inspecting major appliances should be at the top of every homeowner’s spring cleaning checklist.

“Organizing closets and cleaning windows certainly are typical spring cleaning tasks but smart homeowners who really want to keep repair bills down and efficiency up, add the major appliances in their homes to their spring cleaning ritual,” says Jeff Powell, President of First American Home Protection.

The experts at the NHSCA suggest a few important spring-cleaning tasks:

Air Conditioning

  • Check your air filters. Replacing every 30 – 60 days is highly recommended.
  • Keep the outdoor compressor unit free of debris. Trim shrubs and plants to ensure proper air flow and circulation.
  • Spraying off the outdoor coil is a great idea but make sure all electricity and breakers turned off first.
  • Better idea? Schedule a professional HVAC expert to do a maintenance visit.

Washing Machine

Whites looking a little dingy? It may not be your detergent, but the machine itself.

  • Inspect cold and hot water supply hoses for cracks and deterioration.
  • Look for signs of water or oil leakage.
  • Check to make sure the machine is level, and adjust it if needed, by turning the legs clockwise to lower them or counter-clockwise to raise them.
  • Your washer over 12 years old? Time to upgrade.


  • For gas and electric dryers, check and tighten supply connections.
  • Be sure to clean the lint trap after every load. According to the United States Fire Administration, every year clothes dryer fires account for over $100 million in losses. Check to see if the dryer is level; if it’s not, the drum may vibrate and damage the unit. To adjust the level, turn the legs clockwise to lower them or counter-clockwise to raise them.
  • Clean the vent pipe to outdoor or replace. These vents really clog up after a few years and not only can start fires, they kill the efficiency of your dryer.
  • Is the dryer over 12 years old? Time to go shopping

Water Heater

The last thing anyone wants to do is step into an ice-cold shower.

  • Drain and flush sediment from tank to prevent rust or failure.
  • Check pressure-relief valve once a year to make sure this crucial safety device is not clogged.
  • To prevent accidental scalding and burns in homes with young children, be sure that your heater is set below 120° F.
  • Make sure no flammables (or anything)  stored or stacked near or that could fall around heater.

Many home service contract providers also offer a menu of optional items such as pool and spa equipment, well pumps and freestanding refrigerators, for an additional fee. Contracts are typically annual and renewable. Members of the NHSCA effectuate the actual diagnosis, repair or replacement through a network of independent contractors.

The National Home Service Contract Association (NHSCA) is a non-profit 501(c) (6) industry trade organization of member companies serving home service contract providers and consumer interests throughout the United States. For more great industry and consumer information, visit or call 913-871-5600.