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March Time To Put Your House In Order
Spring officially begins March 20. Devote a cold, rainy day earlier in the month to one of the spring-cleaning rituals that still makes sense: Clean out your closets, or tackle the one or two in the worst shape. A few tips:
-- Take out everything and sort it. Recycle whatever you don't need.
-- Vacuum all the crevices.
-- If you don't have a system that allows you to use the space efficiently, switch to high and low rods or install shelves above, below or to the side of hanging garments.
-- If clothes are dusty, briefly tumble them in a dryer before you put them back.
Tune up your air conditioner
While the weather's still cool, schedule a heating and air conditioning company to tune up your air conditioner. Maintenance should include checking the components, lubricating fans and motors, tightening or changing belts, testing the capacitors and crankcase heater, and calibrating the thermostat.
You can also do a few things yourself. Clear leaves, grass clippings, pollen and other debris from the screen of the condensing unit. Clean out the condensate hose so it doesn't become blocked with algae. And keep an eye out for drip marks on the compressor and tubes; these could point to a leak.
Tidy up the garden
As the weather warms and days lengthen, head outside for a big spring cleanup.
-- Clip off spent perennial foliage, and rake leaves.
-- If you have a backyard compost system, stockpile those "browns" for the soon-to-come day when you'll have an overabundance of "green" garden trimmings. Then you can make compost by layering them in approximately equal amounts into your compost bin or pile.