We all know it’s usually less expensive to maintain something than it is to repair or replace it. This is especially true of your home. In this article, we will look at some general things you can do around your house to keep it in tip-top shape and save money over the years.
Remember, every home is different. But with this guide and a little research, it’s easy to create a customized maintenance plan for your home.
The good news is that you can do the majority of home maintenance on your own –even without much experience. Your first task is to create a home maintenance checklist and calendar. Whether online or in a notebook, this is your place to record regular tasks and notes to track things like filter sizes and lightbulb models. It’s also a good idea to keep all of your appliance product manuals in one place, along with a list of trusted repair companies.
Home Maintenance Tips:
Build your plan starting with the list below. The tasks are organized monthly, quarterly, and semi-annually. You’ll also find items to consider for the upcoming spring season. Keep a look out for summer maintenance tips in our next newsletter.
- Clean kitchen sink disposal. To clean and sharpen your blades, freeze vinegar in an ice tray and run the cubes through the disposal.
- Clean range hood filters. Try cleaning them with a degreaser from an auto parts store. Just mix the degreaser with hot water, let your filters soak for a few minutes and rinse with cold water.
- Inspect furnace filters. Inspect filters once a month and change if dirty.
- Inspect your fire extinguisher. Make sure you have at least one all-purpose fire extinguisher for every floor in your home and check yours monthly. Look for damage to the canister and ensure the pin is intact. Check the pressure gauge. If it is not in the “normal” or “operative” zone, have it replaced or serviced.
- Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces. This will prevent the buildup of dirt and grime.
- Test smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Press the “test” button. If the alarm sounds, you’re good to go. If not, replace the batteries and test again.
- Check the salt level of your water softener. Simply remove the lid of your brine tank. If you can see the water at the bottom of the tank, the salt level has dropped too low and it’s time to add salt. As a general rule, salt should be added if the level is under half-full.
- Replace batteries in smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Change batteries every six months. An easy way to remember this is to change the batteries when you reset your clocks in the spring and fall.
- Give your house a deep clean. Take one day every six months and give your entire house a deep clean.
- Vacuum your refrigerator coils. The fridge can use up to 15 percent of your home’s total power and dirty coils use more energy.
- Spring is the time to focus on the exterior of your home as you prepare for summer heat and humidity.
- Check the exterior drainage. Does water flow away from your house? Puddles should not stand around your home for more than 24 hours.
- Check gutters and downspouts. Clean out leaves and debris. Make sure downspouts are tightly fastened and working properly.
- Inspect roofing for damage and leaks. Look for cracked or missing shingles. Check flashing and around vents.
- Inspect the exterior structure of your home. Look for chipping paint, damaged siding, holes in the brick and cracks in your foundation.
- Get your air conditioning system serviced for the summer. Maintenance by a professional is relatively inexpensive and could save you money and headaches down the road.
- Repair or replace damaged window screens. Take a look at all the screens in your house. Even a small tear can let unwanted insects and bugs into your home.
- Clear dead plants and shrubs from the house. Plants can make their way into cracks and holes, damaging the exterior of your home.
- Check trees for interference with electric lines. If you see a problem, call your power company or tree service for advice.
Remember: Every home is different.
While this list contains a lot of information about what to look for and inspect around your home, remember in some cases you will need to consult your owner’s manual or investigate ways to trouble-shoot a particular situation.