Owning a home is exciting, whether for the first time or after a lifetime of making it yours. Knowing how to maintain that home can be tricky, and often it just requires doing little things here and there throughout the year. Here are a few tips on home maintenance to help you stay on top of making your living space efficient and comfortable:
Start in each room and do the little things:
*Inspect your washer and dryer regularly, and check your washing machine’s pipes and hoses at least once a year to avoid water damage from any leakage. As for your dryer, make sure you clean out your lint trap after each use, if you don’t already. This will prevent fires.
*Be sure to vacuum out the metal exhaust duct in your dryer at the very minimum once a year. If you have a plastic exhaust duct, replace it.
*In the bedrooms of your home, as well as in every room in your house, check the window caulking to make sure your windows aren’t causing a draft in your house. If you notice your energy bill creeping up on you, this could be the perpetrator.
*Check your toilets often. Are they in working order? Is anything leaking? Is it taking too long to flush? Check the tank, the chain, the base of the toilet, and all. If there’s a problem that you aren’t sure of, contact someone about it or look up any specific problem you may be having (for example, you may have a problem with the chain that you don’t know about, so looking up your toilet’s “symptoms” will help you find a solution to each individual problem).
*Check your faucets. Do you have a leaky faucet? If you do, you probably need to change out the washers inside.
*Check your shower head and make sure it’s replaced as needed. Those little heads often go unchanged for too long because people simply forget to change them out for new ones. It is recommended to change your shower head at least twice a year (or every six to eight months), as bacteria grows in damp places.
*Check the caulk around your bathroom—around the sink, toilet, tub, etc. It’s easier to fix this up here and there as you notice it, rather than waiting to do it all on a Saturday in the far-off future with countless other chores that are easy to put off.
*You should annually vacuum out the coils underneath your refrigerator.
*You should also make sure your refrigerator door has good seals still. If you can place a small, thin piece of paper within the seals and have it stay, your seals are probably still in good shape. If it can’t, however, it’s probably time for some new seals.
*Each month, clean out the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink. Do this by freezing vinegar in an ice tray and then dropping the cubes in your drain and through your garbage disposal.
*If you have a garage, you most likely use its doors daily. Every so often, check the opener as you press the button to open the garage doors and as they move open and closed. Make sure everything is working properly—lights and all.
*In your furnace room, you should replace the filters in your furnace four times a year.
*Clean your fireplace throughout the year and have someone look at it at least once a year to make sure everything is in tip top shape.
*In each room of your house, frequently check the smoke alarms, and change the batteries each year and test the alarm to make sure it’s working properly. If you have carbon monoxide alarms, be sure to be checking these every few months as well.
*Never underestimate the importance of warm and hot water. To keep this luxury, make sure you clean out your water heater annually and allow the water that is inside of it to drain.
*In each room of your home, you can avoid costly repainting fees by touching up spots here and there as they come up. Save the paint you use when you paint your home, if possible, and keep it around for future touch ups and paint jobs. Perhaps buy a few extra cans to save time and money in the future.
*Something easy to do here and there is to tighten loose knobs and pieces on fixtures as you notice them. That way, you aren’t putting off everything for another time; this risks it never happening, and if it does happen, you will have a great bulk of work ahead of you rather than a few minutes of easy fixing every once in a while.
It’s easy to get behind on maintenance in your home, but following these quick, simple, but important tips will save you tons of time, money, and headache in the future.