Owning a home is a lot of work. It’s rewarding, but sometimes when life gets busy, it’s easy to let home maintenance fall by the wayside “just until you get caught up on other things” While many tasks on your to-do list offer a certain amount of flexibility, it’s important to ensure nothing crucial slips through the cracks. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Are you up-to-date on your home maintenance to-do list? This easy refresher covers tasks important to tackle either by month or by season. While it’s by no means exhaustive, it does offer a few simple places to start.
Block off part of a Saturday or Sunday afternoon once a month to take care of the following tasks.
Clean furnace filter: You know that dust build-up? It’s not just unsightly, it’s inefficient and hazardous. As Better Homes & Gardens notes, cleaning your furnace filter will “make it easier to regulate your home’s temperature, and ultimately decrease utility bills.” It will also reduce the risk of a fire.
Refill water softener salt: Do you enjoy bathing in relatively mineral-free water? Hard water is no fun—especially for your hair and dishes! Add salt to your tank whenever the current levels run low.
Inspect and unclog plumbing: Don’t wait until your shower is retaining more water than it’s draining to do something about clogged pipes. Give them a quick test once a month and use a plunger, snake or other tool to remove any clogs you find. If the problem is beyond your skill set, call a plumber to avoid further complications.
Winter’s finally over; time for a fresh start. Add these household jobs to your list.
Clean or replace windows and screens: The season of sun—and bugs—is fast approaching. A full inspection and cleaning in the springtime will make sure that your windows let in desirable light but keep out undesirable pests and moisture. Replace anything that is no longer working.
Clean gutters: Cleaning out your gutters is an important component of spring cleaning. This habit helps your home look neat, but more importantly, it prevents water damage to your home’s interior or exterior.
Tune up air conditioning: Spring is also the perfect time to ensure your home’s cooling system is in tip-top shape. If you miss the signs now, you’re in for a sweltering summer. Have a professional inspect your HVAC system and clean its various components so it operates like-new.
Inspect roof: You’ll need a strong roof come winter. Taking all safety precautions, check your chimney, shingles and sky lights for signs of wear and tear. If you notice rotting wood, loose bricks or shoddy shingles, call a repair professional. If your home is old, it may be time to replace your roof. It’s a big project, but it can save you money in the long run (both by preventing damage and lowering premiums next time you get a homeowners insurance quote online.
Inspect furnace: Just as you should inspect your air conditioning system in the spring, you should inspect your furnace in the fall. The last thing you want is for the heat to go out in the dead of winter due to an easily preventable problem.
Trim trees: As the Chicago Botanic Garden writes, “If pruning is necessary because branches are dead and the tree or shrub causes a safety hazard, pruning can be performed at any time.” If you do it before winter you’ll lessen the risk of ice or snowfall bringing a branch (or an entire tree) crashing down on your property.
All it takes to get up-to-date on your home maintenance to-do list is a schedule and some planning. Make a list of important duties and do whatever it takes to get them done before disaster strikes—it will save you money and headaches down the line.