Keeping up with maintenance around your home can be a chore, but with these tips and tricks you’ll have an easy routine in no time.
Roof maintenance is a crucial part of home ownership; preventative measures can go a long way toward keeping your roof in good condition. Here are some maintenance tips and suggestions.
Clean your gutters. Clogged gutters lead to all sorts of problems, and they aren’t limited to just roof damage. Gutters that aren’t properly cleaned can cause seepage and leaks down the side of your home, eroding your foundation and resulting in mold issues. Get a professional to clean your gutters at least twice a year.
Trim your trees. If you have any tree branches that hang over your roof, keep them trimmed regularly. Otherwise, a storm could dislodge these branches, and they could damage your shingles or even land on the roof as a result.
Keep an eye out. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget to look up every once in a while and make sure your roof looks good. Check for shingle damage, algae growth and issues with the flashing around your chimney (if you have one). Same goes for the attic – inspect your attic ceiling for evidence of leaks, stains or damage, particularly after storms.
Often overlooked, regular appliance maintenance is a critical responsibility for modern homeowners. Improve energy efficiency and promote longer lifespans with these home appliance maintenance tips.
Clean refrigerator coils. Dirt and pet hair can clog refrigerator coils, restricting airflow and reducing overall lifespan. At least once a year, use a handheld vacuum to remove lint and any loose particles. The location of refrigerator coils will vary by model, but most are either found at the rear of the fridge or behind the front kick plate near the floor.
Clean your dryer exhaust. When lint accumulates in your dryer exhaust, it creates a fire hazard and makes the unit less efficient. Remove large clumps of lint from the back of your dryer and exhaust hose using your hands. If you have an especially long hose, you can purchase an extendable dryer cleaner kit from Amazon or your local hardware store.
Change your HVAC filter. Dirty filters restrict airflow, worsen allergies and reduce energy efficiency. This is why it’s important to clean or change your HVAC filters every two to four weeks. To clean reusable filters, remove the front panel and use a vacuum hose to remove as much dirt as possible. Disposable filters can simply be replaced.
Air conditioning is a home comfort that many of us take for granted, which is why it’s important to keep your AC in good working order. Here are some helpful maintenance tips.
Clean your filters. An easy way to take care of your air conditioning system is by cleaning or replacing your air filters regularly. In addition to trapping dust, pollen and other allergens, clean filters allow for better airflow, placing less strain on your AC and minimizing the risk of icing and other issues.
Keep an eye on your outside unit. If you have central AC, you probably have a compressor unit that sits right outside your house. Clear any dirt or leaves that get stuck in the unit and ensure that the fins (the thin strips of metal on the compressor coil) aren’t bent or broken.
Invest in a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat enables you to control the timing and temperature of your air conditioning, saving you money and extending the life of your AC unit. Many of the latest thermostats can be controlled via an app, so you make adjustments even when you’re not at home.
Your gutter system protects your home from water damage. When gutters fill with debris, it can lead to a leaky roof, mold growth, wood rot and even shifting foundations. Protect your biggest investment with these gutter maintenance tips.
Make it a habit. Your gutters need to be cleaned twice a year, preferably during the spring and fall. If you have a lot of trees around your home, you should inspect your gutters every three months to make sure they aren’t clogged with leaves and bird’s nests.
Practice ladder safety. Always use a steady ladder when cleaning gutters. Read the safety instructions on the side of the ladder, wear proper footwear and work at a slow, steady pace.
Clean and rinse. You can remove most debris using your hands. Wear gloves to protect your skin from potential insect bites. Once you’ve removed large debris, give your gutters a thorough rinse using a garden hose. Double-check to make sure water is flowing freely through your downspouts. If not, you will need to inspect them for potential clogs.
Fire safety is a priority for all homeowners. Here are some home smoke alarm maintenance tips and suggestions to keep in mind.
Change your batteries regularly. Replace the batteries on your smoke alarm twice a year (even on hardwired units, which typically have a battery backup). Many people schedule battery changes to coincide with daylight savings time in the spring and fall. Alarms themselves don’t last forever, either – replace the units every 10 years, even if they still seem to be working properly.
Test your smoke alarms once a month. Most hardwired and battery-operated smoke alarms have a “test” button on the outside of the unit. Press the button once a month to ensure that the alarm is functioning as it should.
Keep your smoke alarms clean. Dust off outside of your unit once every month or so; you can do this at the same time as you test it. Carefully deep clean the inside of the unit with a soft, dry cloth once a year.
Plan a fire drill. Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire – especially at night. That way, you won’t waste precious minutes getting people out of the house safely in an emergency.
Now is a great time to refresh your living space. Get ready for spring with this simple checklist for home cleaning.
Clean your appliances. Deep clean your oven according to the manufacturer’s instructions and clean your cooktop and ventilation hood. Remove lint from your dryer exhaust and any linked tubing. Clean dust, dirt and pet hair from your refrigerator coils. Change the filter in your HVAC and any air purifiers in your home. Degrease your microwave and other small appliances, including their sides, tops, bottoms, plugs and any accessories that came with them.
Eliminate clutter. Give your home a more relaxed, open feel by eliminating unnecessary items. Throw away things you no longer need or donate them to a charitable organization. Organize your junk drawer to make sure everything has a clear purpose. This can help reduce stress and give your home a fresh, minimalist feel.
Wash your windows. Let more light into your home by thoroughly washing your windows. While you’re at it, inspect the seals to make sure they are in good condition. Even slight leaks can drastically reduce energy efficiency, so thoroughly inspect every inch and consider replacements if your windows appear to be well past their prime.