With the high cost of living and prices soaring on everything these days, we are all looking for ways to cut costs. Keeping your home healthy and well maintained is a great way to cut costs and save money. Routine home maintenance can help lower your utility costs. Using a home maintenance checklist can help you protect one of your most important investments by preventing the most common, and costly, problems before they occur.
1. Make sure everyone who lives in your house knows the location of all of the shutoff valves in your home so you’ll be prepared for emergencies. This includes water, electric, and gas valves. Knowing where and how to cut off these things can prevent potential deadly and costly mishaps.
2. Grind some ice cubes in your garbage disposal to keep the cutting blades clean and cut down on odor.
3. Schedule an air conditioner check-up at least once a year. Keeping your air conditioner in good working order will keep energy efficient and extend the life of the unit.
4. Check the weather stripping on the door between your garage and the door leading into you home to make sure the weather stripping is in good condition. This will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
5. Clean your kitchen vent hood and replace exhaust fan filter as needed. Keeping the kitchen vent clean of cooking grease can keep a stovetop fire from spreading.
6. Repair hinges and latches on your outside gates.
7. Lubricate the hinges and hardware on all doors and gates, both inside and outside the home.
8. Replace heating and cooling air filters as needed. Dirty filter can lower the efficiency of the heating and cooling system, which will increase the cost of heating and cooling your home.
9. Vacuum out of the way areas of your home to prevent dust and dander buildup. This is especially important if you have pets in the home or allergies.
10. Have your carpets and drapes cleaned at least every 12 to 18 months. This will help the fibers last longer buy removing dirt and grit.
11. Test and reset all GFCI outlets as a safety precaution. If the outlet don’t reset then have them replaced.
12. Check your roof for warped / missing / or cracked shingles. Replace any shingles that are not in good condition.
13. Clean the drains in your bathroom and kitchen drains to keep them free from building and prevent clogs.
14. Vacuum the coils behind your refrigerator and freezer at least once a year to keep them running efficiently.
15. Replace all batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors at least twice a year.
16. Check your garage door and opener to make sure the hinges, rollers and tracks stay lubricated. Doing this will extend the life of the garage door and opener.
17. Drain your hot water heater and remove the sediment from the bottom of the tank at least once a year.
18. Check the caulking around all bathtubs and showers. If it is cracking or peeling, have it repaired or replaced. Repairing caulk will prevent water from leaking into walls or baseboards, which could cause mold and mildew.
19. Adjust the spray pattern on sprinkler heads to make sure your landscaping is getting the right amount of coverage and that you aren’t wasting water with overspray. You should also check your lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves.
20. Sharpen all of the blades on your lawn equipment at the beginning of each spring to make sure the tools are performing at the most efficient level.
21. Check all faucets, hoses, commodes, and shutoff valves for leaks. Make repairs as needed to prevent water damage.
22. Check the wood on decks and fences. Replace any rotted or split pieces. You can extend the life of your deck and fence by weatherproofing it with the proper sealers and cleaning the wood with a power washer at least once a year.
23. Clean or replace showerheads. Showerheads can get lime buildup over time and cause the nozzles to clog up.
24. Remove debris from gutters and downspouts so that water is correctly dispersed from the roof of your home. Water puddles on your roof can cause leaks and mold.
25. Check the slope of the grading around the foundation of your home to ensure water is draining properly.
26. Check bricks or blocks for cracked mortar or loose joints.
27. Check inside and outside foundation walls and piers for termites.
28. Consider replacing the screens on your windows with storm windows. Storm windows help reduce the cost to heat your home and prevent windowsills from rotting.
29. Repair all cracked, broken or uneven driveways and sidewalks. This will ensure you have level walking surfaces on the outside of your home and can prevent injuries due to falling or tripping over an uneven or broken surface.
30. Check your chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures for bird nests. If you find any nests, remove them. Bird nests on top of light fixtures can be a fire hazard. Bird nests in chimney flues can cause problem with ventilation and cause a buildup of combustion gases and can catch fire from sparks.