Homeownership has long been called “the American dream.” Some of us get to the point in our lives where we seek stable neighborhoods, schools, or a hometown that we can call our own. This quest for stability could probably be the biggest investment we’ll ever make.
Anything that’s your biggest investment can also be your biggest headache if you don’t routinely take care of it. Basic house maintenance might seem like an intimidating or expensive chore, especially if you are a new homeowner trying to save money. Just follow this helpful house maintenance guide to keep your “American Dream” comfortable for the years to come.
House Maintenance Guide by the Seasons
Your house maintenance guide or “to-do” list may seem like it’s a mile long. It’s easy to get overwhelmed at all the large and little tasks that seem like a priority right now. The best way to tackle this runaway “to-do” list is to create a house maintenance calendar that schedules tasks by the seasons.
Houses operate with the seasons as they come alive in the spring and button-up during the cold winter months. Your home repair and maintenance list should spell out your annual tasks and which season you should make those checks.
The following is a suggested seasonal checklist of these maintenance checks and when they deserve your attention.
Fall House Maintenance List
As you ready your home for those long, cold winters, this is the time to contact a licensed heating contractor to inspect and service your heater. Heating contractors will inspect your heater’s duct system for leaks. They will also check your heater’s insulation and airflow to make sure that it’s meeting the manufacturer’s specifications.
You can prepare for this inspection ahead of time and clean the furnace filter to remove dust or cobweb build-ups. Vacuum heat registered and vents. Point out any outdoor or indoor clogged air vents that the contractor might help you clear
If you have a hot water system for heating, this is the time to drain it and flush out any sediment that might have built up since the last time you used it. This is also a good time to check the water heater’s pressure valve to make sure it’s working optimally.
As more people start to light up their home fireplaces again, this is also a good time to inspect your home smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. The US Fire Administration reports that unsafe heating units are the second leading cause of home fires. Sometimes just a simple push on the detector’s “test” button will let you know if you need to replace batteries or the entire detector.
Winter House Maintenance List
Winter is a perfect time to pencil-in “landscaping upkeep” on your home maintenance calendar. Most trees and shrubs go dormant during the cold months. Cut trees won’t have oozing branch sap that attracts pests. Pruning trees and plants during the cold season also mean less risk of disease.
Trim those tree branches closest to your house. Branches heavy with snow can scrape your roof and damage shingles or gutters. Broken branches with dead leaves can also trap moisture create mold under your shingles.
Spring House Maintenance List
Spring may bring “May flowers” but it’s also a time to open up your home and welcome in the sunshine. Spring is the time for basic home maintenance for all those luxuries we have to survive warmer weather, like air conditioners and swimming pools.
Before the heatwave hits, pull off all air conditioner cover panels to check for mold build-up. Vacuum out the filters to remove dust or dead insects. You should also schedule a professional HVAC technician to come and inspect your units to see if they are operating properly
If you’re ready for another summer of epic pool parties, spring is the time to prepare “party central” – your family pool. You can start by cleaning and vacuuming your pool before you add water to your height at 1” (25 mm) per hour. It’s also a good idea to test water balance and check the alkalinity levels.
Make sure you inspect other components of your pool system like drains, ladders, and diving boards. Your inspection might also reveal some cracks or pool light problems. If this is the case now is the time to hire a professional to get your pool summer-ready.
Summer House Maintenance List
When summer BBQs are in full swing, take advantage of this time to focus on the indoor kitchen appliances on your home maintenance schedule. This is the perfect time for cleaning your house. Tend to your refrigerator and range hood that accumulate grease and dust build-up throughout the rest of the year.
Defrost and wipe out all refrigerators and freezers you have in your home. Check the coils located behind and on the bottom of your appliances. If the coils are clogged with cobwebs or crumbs, vacuum them or use a coil cleaning brush to remove the debris.
When grease builds up on range hoods and fans throughout the year, it shortens the life of the fan. You can remove grease build-up with hot soapy water on the range hood and fan blades. Don’t forget to clean the outer surface of the range hood as well, to increase its efficiency.
What Are Your Next Steps?
Ready to put this seasonal house maintenance guide to work for you? The secret is to take it, one season at a time.
Fire Prevention Month in the US is in October. Hire a chimney sweep to clean out your fireplace. Use this time to replace those smoke or carbon monoxide detectors that are over 10 years old.
Winter is not too far down the road either. Plan your pruning and trimming schedule early. Prune deciduous plants first and you’ll ensure their faster regrowth in the spring.
Don’t forget to check our website for other helpful advice on cleaning and fixing your home. Planning today can keep your home safe and comfortable for years to come.