Hopefully by now you’ve sealed your home from the harsh cold air. If not it seems you may still have some time seeing as how the rest of the week is predicted to be in the 50s-60s! As we move along in our home maintenance series, the next 2 weeks are a great time to tackle vents and filters. There are a number of vents and filters in and around your house. In this article I am only referring to air ventilation. We won’t get into plumbing vents or ductwork.

In a nutshell, vents – think “ventilation” – keep the good air in and the bad air out. Some examples of vents you might find in and around your house include:

  • For the attic

    Common types of attic vents

    • ridge vents
    • power vents
    • wind turbines
    • gable vents
  • Foundation vents
  • Whole-house fans
  • Dryer vents
  • Bathroom Fans
  • Kitchen exhaust hood

Disgusting air we breathe

Filters are used to trap the pollution from the air that flows through the vents and into your home. With some filters around your house you can actually see the dust and debris that has been trapped. It is important to clean these filters to ensure that the air flow remains consistent. There are filters in your bathroom fans, in the hood above your stove, in your dryer, in your heating and cooling system, and in many other places around your home.

Keeping filters and vents clean year round will ensure that your home is both safe and energy-efficient.
Let’s begin with the exterior. Walk around your house and look for areas around vents that could become easily blocked by snow or debris. Although we haven’t had an issue this year with snow, during the snowpocalypse of 2010 your foundation and attic ventilation systems were easily blocked. Make a mental note of these areas and be sure to check them after heavy snowfall. Also check your dyer exhaust vent – the vent flap should open and close with ease. Remove any debris or obstructions nearby that might inhibit air from flowing out.

Inside your home, you will need to inspect and vacuum or clean the following filters or vents:

  • Kitchen exhaust hood and air filter above stove
  • Dryer lint filter
  • Under the dyer where lint and dust tend to collect
  • Bathroom fan grille
  • Air registers in each room
  • Furnace Filter

You should be able to see when your kitchen exhaust, dryer vents, bathroom fan, and registers need cleaning.
The general recommendation for checking and replacing your furnace filter is once a month. However there are different types of heating and cooling systems in each home. This is a helpful article for determining your cleaning schedule – http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,477488,00.html.

DON’T FORGET to email us your questions and concerns regarding maintenance on your home! askacontractor@gusanthony.com