Reuben Saltzman

Spring Checklist for Minnesota Homeowners

Spring is officially here, so I’ve created a Spring Checklist. I’ve shared a fall maintenance checklist forever because there’s a ton of stuff for Minnesota homeowners to do before winter. For spring, however, we get to take it easy. Mostly, just enjoy the weather. But there are a few things to take care of, so I’ve put together a short and sweet list of stuff to do. This list should be especially helpful to anyone who has purchased a new home over the winter.

Gutters: If you didn’t have time to clean your gutters after the last leaves came down in the fall, you’ll have some soggy leaves to take care of. My tool of choice for this chore is a $3 gutter scoop. It’s the best $3 I’ve ever spent. Don’t forget to clear your downspouts, too, if needed.

Downspout extensions attached: Downspout extensions have a magical way of getting disconnected over the winter. Go around and make sure they’re all properly connected. If you want to prevent them from coming loose in the future, use a 1/4″ sheet metal screw.

Downspout screws

Sump pump discharge tubing: If you have sump pump, where does it discharge to? Most sump pumps have a short length of piping that stubs out the side of the house. After that, it’s up to the homeowner to direct water away from the house. The most common way to do this is to attach a long length of corrugated tubing to the end of the pipe, and terminate the tubing well away from the home.

Sump discharge away from house

If left attached, this tubing can fill with ice during the winter and block the discharge, so diligent homeowners always disconnect it in the fall and reconnect it in the spring.

If you’re lucky enough to have a buried pipe in your yard, you probably don’t need to do anything.

sump pump discharge underground

Test your sump pump: If you have a sump pump, test it to ensure it works. If it’s not working, you could end up with a flooded basement. The most universal way to test a sump pump is to add water to the sump basket until the pump kicks on. There are shortcuts to test your pump, depending on the pump type. Check them out here: How to test a sump pump.

Insect screens: If you’re like me, you like to take your insect screens off the windows in the fall. Now is the time to put ’em back up.

De-winterize the outside faucets: Check the outside faucets to make sure they’re turned off, then find the shutoff valve in the basement and open it up.

Dryer duct: Clean the clothes dryer duct. The damper at the exterior should move freely and close properly. See dryer duct maintenance.

Air conditioner: If you put a cover on your AC, remember to take it off again. And for the record, we don’t recommend covers, as they trap moisture and provide a home for pests. Also, spring is a great time to get a professional tune-up on your AC.

Furnace: Clean or replace the furnace filter. This should usually be done every one to three months, depending on the type of filter. The arrow on the filter should point toward the furnace.

Did I miss anything? Compared to the winter checklist for Minnesota homes, this is pretty easy stuff.

One response to “Spring Checklist for Minnesota Homeowners”

  1. Alex
    March 23, 2024, 7:25 am

    The other two items I have on my list only apply to homes with HRVs and whole house humidifiers (I understand how controversial the latter is).
    1. I turn off my Heat Recovery Ventilator. Then I clean core/filters to ensure I can just turn it on again in the fall/winter.
    2. I check my whole house humidifier filter (and replace, if necessary), turn off the humidifier water supply valve, and turn the duct setting to ‘Summer’.

    I also prepare my dehumidifiers to run in my basement and turn off the valve to my gas insert fireplace.

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