This week we have a few quick maintenance items around the house.

We all clean the dryer lint screen between loads. Did you know that the dryer ducts should be checked and clean at least once a year? Doing so will reduce the risk of fire and increase your dryers energy efficiency.

·         Unplug the dryer and pull it gently away from the wall. You will need to get behind the dryer.

·         Detach the vent hose from the back of the dryer.

·         Using a vacuum hose, remove the built up lint from the dryer and the hose. Re-attach the vent hose.

·         Plug the dryer back in and slide the dryer back in place.

Time to go outside, inspect the landscaping

and ensure you’re not inviting unwelcome guests. We’re talking about termites, rodents and mosquitos among others here.

·         Keep your gutters clean.

·         Take a close look at any vegetation and landscaping within 20 feet of the house, eliminating any piles of debris. Pests will think you are opening a hotel for them if you don’t.

·         Keep a look out for any standing water. Mosquitos in particular love puddles of water.

·         As you look around, think like a pest. Where would you like to hang out?

·         Move the compost pile away from the house. You want insects in it right? Not next to the house though.

Speaking of compost, here are a few tips for you.

·         As you probably know, moisture and oxygen are key.

·         You don’t want too much water though. If it starts to stink or is soggy, it’s too wet.

·         Variety is the spice of life, right? The same goes for composting. Use a variety of organic matter. A good rule of thumb is that if you are adding only one color, you are not adding enough variety.

·         Turn the pile weekly.

For more tips for regular home maintenance, visit with our Expert Advisors at stores located in Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Ukiah and Petaluma.