Degrease the range hood.
Cooking can add a layer of grease and grime to your range hood and filter, which can decrease its efficiency and cause harmful byproducts from cooking to linger in your home. That layer of grease can also catch on fire.
To clean the filter, submerge it in a sink of hot water with anti-grease dish soap and a 1/4 cup of baking soda for 15 minutes, Berger says. While the filters are soaking, clean the hood with a degreaser spray (Fisher recommends Simple Green) and hot water. “Use a stainless [polish] to obtain a sparkle when you are done,” Fisher says.
Finally, gently scrub both sides of the filter with a utility brush and rinse. Once it’s dry, place it back on.
Clean (and test!) smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Life-saving smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors need to be cleaned regularly to work properly—dust, dirt, insects, and spiderwebs can cause the alarm to go off when no danger is present. First, remove the devices, then wipe them down with a soft, dry cloth or vacuum them with a soft brush attachment. If you still see debris in the sensing chamber, blow it out with compressed air. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on maintenance, but aim to clean them at least a couple of times a year.
When you’re done, test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and create a recurring monthly calendar event or reminder to test all of the devices in your home.
Remove lint from the dryer.
Lint buildup can spark a fire, says Mark Dawson, COO of One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning. Washing machines and dryers account for 4 percent of home fires, per the National Fire Protection Association.
Remove lint from the lint filter after every load. If you have stubborn buildup, wash the lint filter screen with a nylon brush, soap, and hot water. You should also occasionally vacuum or wipe down the back of the dryer to remove any accumulated lint and dust.
Finally, clean the vent hose or duct annually, or when you notice your clothes are taking longer to dry. Unplug the dryer, pull it away from the wall, detach the vent, and vacuum inside. If you have a power drill, you can buy a dryer duct cleaning kit that attaches to the drill and speeds up the process considerably. Be careful not to pinch or bend the hose when sliding the dryer back into place.