It’s time to clean your attic and ceiling fans

McClatchy NewspapersNovember 2, 2012 

LIFE HOME-SPRINGCLEAN 3 CO

KRT LIFESTYLE STORY SLUGGED: HOME-SPRINGCLEAN KRT PHOTOGRAPH BY RICHARD THOMASON/COLUMBUS LEDGER-ENQUIRER (March 28) Lauren Galbraith, 10, dusts the blades of a ceiling fan as the family dog, Tid Bit, watches. (CO) NC KD 2002 (Vert) (lde) ORG XMIT: KRT Selling your home. House on the market. Getting your house in shape.

RICHARD THOMASON — MCT

You keep a pretty clean home. Sure, sometimes your rigid cleaning schedule has to bend here and there to accommodate life, but your place stays pretty tidy.

But have you looked up at those ceiling fans lately? They pose a bit of a challenge. That being said, “if you stay on top of keeping ceiling and attic fans clean, it’s a pretty easy process,” said Bryan Dunning, an assistant store manager for Lowe’s.

You may need a duster with an extension handle or a stepladder to really get the job done. Hit the ceiling fan blades with disposable dusting pads every couple of weeks, and you should be fine. If you wait significant stretches between cleanings, expect a lot of dust falloff when you finally do get around to it. For $3 a pack, you could also invest in a filter that sits on top of the blade, but cleaning is still recommended, Dunning said.

Attic fans are a bit trickier. “Step 1 is to definitely make sure you have your breaker turned off. Since the switch is usually below the fan, you don’t want to be near one when someone turns it on,” Dunning said. “They can put out a lot of power.”

“You can use a mild cleaning solution and wipe off the metal blades,” Dunning said. “And with the motor, you can use a can of compressed air to clean out any dust and dirt in the motor.”

Dunning suggests syncing attic fan cleaning with your furnace filter changing schedule.

Cleaning both kinds of fans gives the same benefit: less debris in the air and a longer appliance life span. Dunning also notes that dirty and dusty motors run hotter, meaning less efficient cooling.

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