As a homeowner, it’s far better to keep up with routine maintenance than spend big bucks down the road on repairs and replacements. Here’s a handy guide to key maintenance issues and how often they should be completed.
- Change the filters to your heating and air intake ducts, unless you own a systems with one large filter located at the system’s air handler. (These require changing every few months.) Clogged filters put a strain on the system, costing more in monthly utility bills.
- Clean the oven.
- Run vinegar ice cubes through the food disposal to clean and deodorize it.
- Check the clothes dryer vent to make sure it is clear of lint. With the dryer on, go outside to make sure you feel a strong flow of exhaust. If not, you may have a clog.
- Test the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Press the test button on each one. They should operate as a system, meaning when one is tested and sounds, they all should sound.
- Test the auto reverse safety feature on the garage door opener. It should reverse when an object is placed in the door’s path. Similarly, test the door’s electric eye to see if the door reverses when the beam is interrupted by a waved arm or other object.
- Deep clean the house. Besides regular cleanings of bathrooms and floors, clean tile grout to prevent mold and mildew. Clean windows inside and out.
- Dust the blinds.
Twice per year maintenance.
- Change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Change the one large filter in your heating and air system, if you have that type.
- Vacuum the coils on your refrigerator to keep it operating efficiently.
- Drain the sediment built up at the bottom of the water heater or have a plumber do so. There are several helpful YouTube videos available to learn this procedure.
- Clean your gutters after the trees have finished dropping their leaves for the year. Consider getting gutter covers to prevent them from clogging. In some heavily wooded areas or areas with pine trees, this chore may have to be done multiple times per year.
- Just before summer, your air conditioning unit should be checked and serviced by a professional. Just before winter, your heater should be serviced.
- In the spring, hire a pest control service to eliminate creepy home invaders. This also would be a good time for a termite inspection. Maintain a pest control contract with a reputable company.
- Walk around your house, inspecting the roof and looking for areas that need touch-up paint.
In the fall, put insulating foam or Styrofoam sleeves over outdoor faucets to protect from winter freezes.
- Winterize your pool system.
- Inspect your windows and replace aging caulk that may be pulling away, exposing gaps.
- Check your chimney to make sure it is clear and ready for those cozy nights by the fire.