To make it a little easier, we’ve compiled a checklist of simple maintenance tips and features to inspect, as well as the best times to perform each task.
HVAC - You may need a professional for any extensive repairs, but there are things you can do to keep your heating and cooling systems operating efficiently. One of the easiest ways to do this is to check your filters once a month. Filters need to be replaced two to four times a year, and switching from a dirty filter to a new one will make a dramatic difference in airflow and efficiency. Test air conditioning in the spring and heating in the fall to complete any repairs before you need that A/C on full blast!
Smoke Alarms - Sometimes, we can overlook even the simplest of appliances - smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. With longer-lasting batteries and infrequent use, it’s common for them to go unused for years. Get in the habit of testing your smoke detectors once a month, and look to replace batteries every year. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are one of the best safety features in your home, and a little preventive maintenance can make all the difference!
Fridge - The average refrigerator uses more than 10% of a home’s total energy each year. With some simple maintenance, like keeping your fridge clean inside and out, you can improve your refrigerator’s efficiency and lower energy costs. Ensure the rubber seals on the inside are cleaned at least twice a year so the doors can shut properly. Cleaning under and behind your fridge, including the coils, will improve airflow to the components and make it as efficient as possible. Not only will this increase the longevity of your appliance, but it can also lower your monthly power bill.
Dishwasher - Did you know that most new dishwashers contain a filter system that traps sediment and food particles? Check your dishwasher filter once a month to ensure optimal water flow and efficiency. Rinsing out the filter will help ensure cleaner dishes and increase the lifespan of the appliance. Once a year, try cleaning the jet holes with a toothpick to prevent any sediment buildup and improve water flow.
Washer/Dryer - Washer and dryer units use a good chunk of your home’s power and water usage throughout the year, and preventive maintenance is a great way to keep costs down. Make sure your washer and dryer are both level to keep them running efficiently. One of the most critical dryer rules? Always clean the vent (where the lint goes) after every load - this will prevent fire risks and help your machine perform at its best! Remember to keep the washer lid open after loads to dry it out and avoid mold and corrosion.
Walk Around - The best way to keep your home and its features in prime condition are to inspect things frequently. Several times a year, take a walk around your property, examining everything from the foundation to the roof. Check all extension cords and wiring for signs of damage, and look at your plumbing, inside and out, for signs of leaks. You should inspect every feature of your home at least once a year.
Despite many moving parts, homeowners can regularly go through a safety checklist to help save themselves thousands of dollars in the long run! From keeping your fridge clean to fixing a leak before it floods your basement, monthly preventive home maintenance should be a part of your routine. Whether you’re after cheaper bills or just peace of mind, spend some time each month inspecting your home’s features and appliances.