Home Maintenance Tips

Home Maintenance Tips All Homeowners Should Know

Owning a home has plenty of benefits, but it does require some upkeep as well! In this post we are going to cover a few maintenance and energy saving tips that all homeowners should know about.

The maintenance of your home starts on the outside. So first let’s take a look at the important maintenance chores you need to do for the outside of your home.

  • Clean your roof and gutters. Be sure to remove any branches or leaves from your roof on a regular basis, especially after storm. Clean your gutters out and do preventative maintenance year round to keep them from getting full.

Also, at least once a year you want to check for branches from trees that

growing over your roof. Any branches lurking over or close to your roof need

to be cut back asap.

  • Check that your sprinklers are working properly before the spring season starts. This can save you any unnecessary water leaks!

Now, let’s go over maintenance tips for the inside of your home!

  • Change your air filters. Air filters need to be changed once a month, and doing so can help on your energy bills! Changing out your air filters makes your HVAC’s job easier and the air in your home will be cleaner!
  • Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors once a year. Replace batteries if needed (and if you aren’t sure, go ahead and change them out). Schedule this task  along with something else to ensure you remember to do it. You can also add it to your calendar so you won’t forget (we will cover this in the last section).
  • Your HVAC ducts and vents need some love too! Call in a professional to be sure they get a once a year checkup to ensure everything is working properly.
  • Check your windows and the seals. You don’t want any broken seals that air can seep out of.
  • Make sure your toilets and faucets aren’t leaking. Plumbing issues can be expensive, so keep on top of your toilets and faucets as a preventative measure. Toilets and sinks that aren’t used often still need to be turned on or flushed every so often so that the pipes don’t get clogged up.
  • While you’re checking on your plumbing, don’t neglect your drains! Make sure everything is running smoothly.
  • You’ll also need to clean your garbage disposal once a month. After cleaning, cut a lemon or lime in your garbage disposal. The acidity breaks up any grease that might be building up and it gives off a fresh, clean scent!
  • Clean your exhaust hood in your kitchen to remove dirt and any built up grease. Make sure that the vents and blades are working properly and clean the filter!
  • Clean your refrigerator coils twice a year. Also be sure to check the seals for your fridge and freezer to make sure air isn’t seeping out. Don’t neglect your ice or water filters! Change these as well to keep your fridge running smoothly.
  • Also make sure that your washing and drying machines are working properly. Check for leaks and clean your dryer vents to prevent buildup (which can lead to a fire).
  • Just like your HVAC, your water heater and furnace need to be inspected to make sure there are no issues.
  • Do you know where your shut off valve for water is located in your home? If not, find out. It’s better to know where it is now than try to find it when you need it!
  • Lastly, clean your chimney. Whether or not you use your chimney, it still needs to be clean once a year to prevent any buildup. Hire a professional to take care of this task.

The list above can seem like a lot, but in the last section we have a plan to make things easier on you! You can create a maintenance calendar to make sure that you don’t forget to do any of the checkups listed above.

Before we get into the maintenance calendar, let’s go over some maintenance tips that have energy saving benefits, meaning they will help save you money!

Energy Saving Tips

Not only should you know how to do all of these things, but when you do them, it will actually save you money! Get an energy audit to see what you can do to save energy in your home! These saving energy ideas can really pay off when your utilities start coming in.

Some major energy saving things you can do around your home are to install ceiling fans with a reverse option. Fans help increase the airflow in your home and make it easier on your HVAC system, which in turns helps with your utility cost! Replacing your air filters on a monthly basis also helps your HVAC system.

Check the window and door seals as these are common areas where air can flow in or out easily. If possible, buy double or triple pane windows as these are the most energy efficient.

Make sure there’s plenty of insulation in your attic as this will help keep the air in your home cool if the AC is running, or warm if the heat is on. You don’t want your cooled or heated air escaping from the top of your house as this will increase your energy bill.

The most common energy saving items is your light bulbs. LED bulbs are the most heard of, but you can also use CFL lights (compact fluorescent lamp). Both LEDs and CFLs last longer than your standard light bulb.

Moving into a new home is a great time to start new habits! This is the perfect time to implement more energy efficient items into your home. For more energy saving tips and a checklist for new homeowners, read this post on what happens after a house closing: new homeowner checklist!

Create a Maintenance Calendar

Everything is easier when it’s broken down into chunks. Help yourself by creating a maintenance calendar of things to check up on every month or season. This way you aren’t trying to do maintenance on your entire house at once!

Here are some schedule examples you can use for inspiration. Find one that fits best for your lifestyle!

  • Once a Month: Create a list for monthly maintenance requirements such as air filters and then add one yearly maintenance item to each month. You can also break these down into Inside and Outside lists.
  • Once a Season (Spring and Fall): For a Spring list you can clean up the inside and outside of your home. Think of things you would want include for your spring cleaning! Then adopt this mentality for Fall as well for getting your home ready for the winter.
  • Once a Year: do everything at once! While you definitely won’t forget, if you wait to do everything at once then you might procrastinate or keep putting your action list off until it doesn’t happen. We recommend a monthly or seasonal list. A yearly list is a big list that will require an entire day or so, so if you choose this you’ll need to be dedicated.

Once you create a schedule, stick to it! Soon, your home maintenance schedule will become a habit that feels like an old routine. If you have any other maintenance tips for homeowners, let us know! We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.