Most of us have a regular household cleaning routine, involving common tasks like vacuuming, mopping our floors, and dusting our furniture. But there are also jobs in any home that are just as important, although we do them less frequently. Do you know whether you’re doing these household chores enough?

Cleaning Your Fridge

Image via Flickr by B Rosen

Most of us immediately wipe up spills and purge moldy food when we spot it, but deep fridge cleaning is often overlooked. However, cleaning your fridge thoroughly at the start of every new season minimizes the risk of food cross-contamination, which can cause food poisoning. It also helps you identify and remove expired or unwanted items which can contaminate your fridge and make it work harder.

Remove every item from your fridge, then systematically clean every surface with a mix of warm water and dishwashing liquid. Baking soda takes care of stubborn stains. Check each item is still good before putting it back in the fridge.

Getting Your Air Ducts Cleaned

Your air ducts connect your HVAC system to the rooms in your home. When they become blocked, air cannot flow efficiently throughout your home, sending your power bills sky high. The substances clogging your air conditioner, like dust, pet dander, and mold, can also enter the atmosphere and cause health problems. Dirty ducts often cause health problems like itchy eyes and congestion. People with chronic illnesses like asthma are also likely to experience more severe symptoms living in a house with dirty ducts.

Duct cleaning is best left to the professionals, who have specialized cleaning tools and sanitizing sprays. Most households only need their ducts cleaned every three to five years. However, if you renovate your home or live with shedding pets you may like to get your ducts cleaned every two years. If you see mold around your ductwork or members of your household have allergy symptoms, book an urgent clean.

Clearing Out Your Gutters

Over time, leaves, twigs, and other debris fall into your gutters. Cleaning your gutters twice a year, at the start of fall and spring, prevents clogging.

When your gutters clog, they can’t efficiently move water down your roof and away from your home and its foundation. When water doesn’t drain away, it can damage your home. In winter this water can freeze and push back against your roof, causing further damage.

Trapped debris can also become heavy, especially when wet, putting your gutters under strain and even causing them to come away from your house. In bushfire zones, the debris in gutters can also be a fire hazard. Should a bushfire ember land on the leaves and twigs in your gutter, your roof and home could quickly go up in smoke.

When household tasks aren’t part of your regular cleaning routine, they’re easily overlooked. However, neglecting them can impact your home’s efficiency and even damage your fixtures in the long run. Set reminders on your phone or on your calendar to make sure you complete these household tasks are often as you should.