Do you ever think of the home maintenance that is required to keep your home systems and
appliances running smoothly? If you're like most homeowners, you probably don't think about
it often enough. Not to worry, though, because we've done the homework for you. Not only is it
a good idea to have a home warranty to cover your home's systems and appliances for when they break down,
it's also a good idea to do easy regular home maintenance as needed. Here are several routine maintenance tips
for your home that you should do to keep them running and to keep your wallet safe from big fixes.
Water Systems – Check and update your outside water system along with your water heater.
Check hose faucets for freeze damage and the garden hose for dry rot. Water heaters also need
maintenance to up their longevity and reduce the chance of damage. Drain the water from your heater and clean
the inside surface of its floor annually to keep it from damage. If this is too much there are plenty of places that will
do maintenance on water heaters at very reasonable rates.
Heating & Cooling Systems – To keep your heating and cooling systems working efficiently,
have a qualified contractor come clean and service the outside unit of your air conditioning system.
Be sure to change the interior filters regularly. Make sure to clean out debris and leaves from the condenser of a
central air conditioner. Not only is this good practice for home maintenance,
but it can also save you electricity in the long run.
Doors & Windows – Update loose door gaskets to tighten the seal. This will also save you some energy.
To keep these from needing to be replaced, wipe the gaskets down monthly with warm, soapy water.
Be sure to rinse them off and dry afterwards. Inspect the caulking around your home’s doors, windows
and weather stripping once a year.
Dishwasher – Dishwasher’s often need a good clean.
Check the drain at the bottom for debris and wipe down the gaskets around the door.
You may not think a cleaning machine needs cleaning, but to prolong your dishwasher’s life deodorize
the machine placing a bowl of white vinegar on the top rack and run it through a full cycle.
Furnace – schedule an appointment with a service to have your home’s furnace tuned up.
These maintenance checkups are generally under $100 and will save you in the long run.
Also change out your furnace filters about every two months. A lot of people think that changing a
furnace filter is something complicated and don’t bother to learn about it or do it.
Fortunately it is actually incredibly simple. Your furnace has a return air duct where air is brought into
the furnace to warm and send back to the house. Usually the filter is right where that duct meets the furnace.
It will be easy to see and to recognize because it will probably be dirty from all the debris caught while pulling in air.
Washer & Dryer – To keep your home’s washing machine and dryer running at top performance,
vacuum out the dryer’s exhaust duct annually. Along with this, clean your lint screen off with
warm water and a little detergent. This will remove any fabric softener residue that builds up.
Leaky hoses for washing machines tend to be the biggest reason for insurance claims, inspect the water supply lines yearly
and replace them every three years. While this may seem like a little too much home maintenance to worry about, a hole or rip
less than a centimeter in length can flood an entire basement because of water pressure.
Refrigerator – The backside of your refrigerator can become on the dirtiest spots in your home.
Vacuum the coils behind and underneath the fridge. The coils are there so that the fridge can
release the heat that comes from cooling. If these coils start to get a lot of dirt and debris built up,
then the heat cannot be released as efficiently. If the coils are dirty they will also stress the fridge’s
motor and shorten its life. Besides being good for home maintenance, cleaning behind your refrigerator good
for air quality and overall quality of living.
Electrical Systems – test your home’s ground fault circuit interrupter monthly.
This is actually quite easy as most homes have a test button incorporated into the breaker that you can quickly use to test.
This small, simple bit of home maintenance can save significant amounts of money if issues are detected early, as well
as potentially save lives.