Buying a residence is one of the greatest accomplishments – and investments – we can make in life. However, once the dust settles and we begin the process of making our house a home, we tend to focus on other things, only paying attention to our home when something major arises. Taking time out each month to perform a little routine preventive home maintenance, can keep those issues at bay and save us oodles of money – and hassle.
Home Maintenance Tips
Just like a car or truck, homes (and the appliances within them), need preventative and routine maintenance to keep them functioning at maximum capacity and to ensure they do not fall into disrepair. To help you keep your house in tip-top shape, below we have included some maintenance tips for homeowners.
No matter the season, proper maintenance for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is imperative to keeping your home energy efficient, mold and mildew free, and reducing monthly energy bills. During heavy usage months (exceptionally cold winters or above-average summers), we recommend changing your air filter every month. The rest of the year, changing them every 60 days should be sufficient.
In addition to changing out filters, you also should consider getting your system serviced and inspected at the start of each season to ensure it continues functioning at maximum efficiency. This includes not only your air conditioning unit, but your water heater and ventilation system as well.
One of the most neglected rooms in terms of home maintenance is the kitchen. Many homeowners are unaware that dishwashing machines and sink disposals require a little TLC just like your HVAC system.
One of the best ways to ensure the health of your garbage disposal is to make sure you use it properly to begin with. For starters, never pour grease or fatty foods down the drain. If you do put food down your pipes, make sure you run warm water for a few minutes after to make sure any oil does not have a chance to solidify in your pipes.
In terms of cleaning your disposal, the best method is to use ice. Simply turn on the unit and drop ice cubes in. Not only will it help remove trapped organic material, it will sharpen the blades as well.
Another area that requires maintenance in the kitchen is your range hood. Doing this monthly is highly suggested. If you have never cleaned your hood before, you may want to call in a pro or prepare yourself for a bit of “dirty” work. A good degreaser and plenty of hot water will save you a lot of frustration, but be prepared to use a little elbow grease as well.
Our last piece of maintenance advice comes from what is, arguably, the most important art of your home: safety and detection devices. No matter how well you take care of your home, if a fire breaks out in the middle of the night and your smoke detector does not work, it could lead to a costly – and potentially tragic – end.
At least every 30 days you will want to inspect your fire extinguishers and test your detectors (smoke and carbon dioxide). Fire extinguishers have a pressure gauge that should show positive and should be damage free.
Smoke detectors and carbon dioxide detectors should be tested every month as well. Simply press the test button on them and make sure the alarm sounds. Every 3 months or every change of season, you also should replace the batteries for each of your smoke detectors and check the battery terminals for signs of disconnect or corrosion. If there is any issue, replace the unit – the nominal fee is well worth your family’s safety.