Purchasing your first home is an exciting experience, but it can also be an overwhelming one. Whether you’re coming from an apartment or your parents’ home, you may be unfamiliar with and unprepared for what it takes to maintain a home.
To keep your home in tip-top shape, there are maintenance tasks you should complete monthly, quarterly and seasonally. They may be inconvenient and time-consuming, but they can keep repairs at bay and save you money in the long-run.
Monthly and Quarterly Maintenace
A home requires ongoing maintenance, which means carrying out certain tasks every month and other tasks every four months.
Each month, check your HVAC filters and replace if necessary. Some experts will say that you should change your HVAC filters monthly, but this may be excessive and unnecessary. Typically, filters can be changed every 2-3 months.
But if the filters look dirty, change them – even if you just changed them last month.
Two other important monthly tasks: clean your kitchen disposal and your range hood filters.
There are many ways to clean a garbage disposal, but many homeowners say they get the best results by running vinegar ice cubes through the disposal. Simply put vinegar into an ice cube tray, allow it to freeze, and run the cubes through the disposal.
Cleaning your range filters can be a messy job. Experts recommend mixing auto degreaser with hot water and allowing the filter to soak for a few minutes before rinsing.
Other simple monthly tasks include:
- Checking sink and tub drains for clogs, and unclogging as necessary.
- Cleaning showerheads and faucet aerators to remove mineral deposits.
- Vacuuming heat vents and registers.
- Checking indoor and outdoor vents to ensure that they’re not clogged.
Every four months, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These detectors should have a “test” button on them. If the alarm sounds when you press the button, everything is working properly. If you don’t hear an alarm, change the batteries or replace the detector.
Now is also a good time to check your water softener, if you have one, and add salt as necessary.
If you have unused bathrooms in your home, run the water in the sinks and flush the toilets in these spaces. Doing this will prevent grime and other build-up from causing clogs.
Seasonal maintenance tasks are completed once per year, typically each season.
One of the first things you should check before winter is your HVAC system. Have it serviced or checked to ensure that it’s running properly. This will help you avoid repairs and potentially prevent health issues.
“Carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for 200 fatalities and more than 5,000 emergency room visits every year, and many of which can be avoided as long as these systems are routinely checked,” says C. Lee Services.
Along with checking your HVAC system, you should also:
- Check for ice dams and icicles regularly.
- Check caulking around tubs and showers, and repair as needed.
- Clean sediment from showerheads.
- Clean out gutters.
- Check for exterior damage.
- Have your A/C serviced and checked.
- Clear dead plants.
- Inspect roof for damage.
- Check and tackle inspect problems.
- Check and clean dryer/exhaust vents.
- Clean window wells.
- Inspect plumbing for leaks; clean faucets.
- Winterize air conditioning units and pipes.
- Test sump pump.
- Flush and turn off outdoor water faucets.
- Flush hot water heater to remove sediment.