Beyond the initial purchase cost of buying a home, there are other regular financial responsibilities for homeowners. Just like an oil change for a vehicle, there are multiple ways to keep your home in shape to avoid future headaches.
For new homeowners, this list may seem lengthy. However, novice homeowners can do the bulk of these items. For this list to be efficient consider it as a home maintenance calendar and perform each item dutifully over the course of a year.
Home Maintenance Checklist
We’ve broken this checklist down to different time frames listed below. Follow them all and your home will love you for it.
Monthly Home Inspections
- Inspect your HVAC filters. Experts will recommend changing filters each month, but that’s not always the case. For families with pets or allergies, however, change as often as you feel necessary.
- Clean the kitchen disposal and range hood. There are countless ways to clean a disposal, but vinegar ice cubes may be the easiest and best method. For the hood, use an auto parts de-greaser with hot water.
- Finally, inspect your fire extinguishers each month. Just make sure the extinguisher is easily accessible. Then, make sure the gauge shows adequate pressure on the dial, and check for unforeseen wear and tear.
Quarterly Home Inspections
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is another relatively simple task as you are only required to use the “test” button. If the alarm sounds, the device is working properly, but if not, the batteries will need to be replaced.
Test the garage door. After multiple child deaths, a 1993 law came in place that required garage doors to be tested for safety. Simply place a wooden block on the ground so that when the door closes, it automatically reverses. If the door doesn’t stop and go up, then you should get it examined by a professional.
Examine water softener and run water in unused areas. Salt is not always a requirement, but take a few seconds to check your water softener. Also, flush toilets and use unused sinks so grime doesn’t build up to cause future problems.
Biannual Home Inspections
Twice each year, homeowners should test their heater’s pressure relief valve. Doing so will prevent corrosion or mineral buildup. This will also help prevent leaks and make sure the heater runs efficiently.
Perform a deep clean every six months. Clean your appliances, windows, and every nook and cranny. Keeping your home clean will slow down the build-up of dirt, dust, and grime, so your home stays in good shape for years to come.
Vacuum refrigerator coils. A home refrigerator can use about 15 percent of the home’s total power, so it needs to run as efficiently as possible. Regular cleaning can mean savings as much as $100 each year in electric bills.
Seasonal Home Inspections
- Spring – Each season has its own necessities. During spring, it’s important to check exterior drainage, clean out the gutters, inspect the home’s exterior, and check the home’s air conditioning units. Beyond these tasks, it’s also important to repair damaged window screens, remove dead plants, and check for roofing leaks.
- Summer – During the summer, there are other tasks that need to take place. Summer tasks include checking for grout damage in bathrooms, inspecting aerators and faucets, taking care of insect problems, checking the deck and patio, cleaning out window wells, cleaning dryer vents, and removing excess garbage.
- Fall – During the fall, flush out the hot water, winterize conditioning systems, flush out exterior water faucets, check the chimney, test the sump pump, prep any pavement cracks, and buy winter gear.
- Winter – When winter arrives, check for ice dams or icicles, test electricity, tighten any lose handles or knobs, check all locks and deadbolts, prep caulking around tubs or baths, remove and clean showerheads, and deep clean the basement.
Knowing When To Hire A Professional
Following this home maintenance checklist will put you ahead of the game but there are other times that a professional is required. This is especially true for air condition systems during the winter or summer months.
For heating and air services, inspections depend on your specific area. Some places use window units while others have swamp coolers on the roof. Refer to your user guide for basic check-ups but it’s also important to hire a professional each year.
Central air systems are more complex, so having a professional come out and check the Freon or for other issues that may arise. Not only does this ensure that the unit is running properly but a unit low in Freon will mean higher energy bills.
For those in the Nashville area, use Lee Company, as this contractor provides such maintenance for heating and cooling units. For readers in Louisville, please contact us for recommended professionals for all types of jobs.