Home maintenance! The very mention strikes fear in heart of many a courageous homeowner. I’ve got news for you… That fear? It’s all about false perceptions. By doing simple home maintenance, you get to know your home intimately and our easy fixes will save you money, improve the lifespan of key appliances, help you become energy-efficient and save money on utilities.
When you move to a new home, you will need to know how to turn off the water supply and the power and where the circuit board is located. Armed with this knowledge, don’t wait until something is broken before getting it fixed. Many jobs are very simple, requiring only the most basic skills.
- Gutters aren’t just a decorative feature. They’re meant to carry water and debris from your roof and keep them away from the foundation. Blocked gutters can have disastrous consequences for your walls, siding and foundation.
Basic home maintenance would include cleaning your gutters annually. Remove leaves and other debris and rinse the channels thoroughly with a garden hose. Don’t install gutter guards, they don’t really work and make clearing the gutters difficult.
- Drafty windows compromise your heating and cooling systems and cause excessive energy bills. Check the caulk line holding your window in place – weathered, dry or cracking caulk can be removed with a sharp knife. Run a new line of caulk along the exposed seam. Problem fixed!
- Leaky faucets are usually caused by worn-out rubber washers that are easily replaced. Turn off the main water supply and unscrew the leaky handle regulating the water to the spout. Remove the old washer and drop the new one.
- Keeping your drains clog-free is preventative home maintenance. The big cause of clogged drains is fats and oils so never pour these down your drain, even oils that are liquid at room temperature. If there’s an accidental oil spill, run hot water down the drain along with good glug of dishwashing liquid. The soap will emulsify the fat or oil and wash it out of the pipe, averting a blockage.
- Air conditioning and air filters only need basic home maintenance and cleaning to stay efficient. An air conditioner needs to drain; check that the condensation hose can allow water to flow freely from the line. Don’t let standing water accumulate where the condensation line empties. Keeping the screen around your air conditioner clean will keep air flowing easily, saving wear and tear and electricity.
Change the air filter in the central heat and air unit frequently – 30 days or less in times of high usage. Using cheap fiberglass filters work better than the more expensive HEPA filters: the fiberglass filters allow more air to flow into the climate-controlled unit.
- Laundry Appliances can also benefit from a quick home maintenance check.
Inspect your washing machine water supply hoses for leaks regularly. If they are plastic, replace them every three years and if the metal ends of the water supply lines are rusty, replace them immediately.
Damaged washing machine drain hoses can’t keep water off the floor and in the drain, where it belongs. Regularly inspect your washing machine drain lines for discoloration, rust and signs of leaking.
Prolong the life of your dryer and prevent fires by regularly cleaning off your lint screen. Remove lint after each laundry load and wash the screen often to remove fabric softener residue.
- Refrigerators are only as good as their door seals. Tight door seals will reduce the amount of energy it takes to keep your food cold and keep your refrigerator working efficiently,
To test, close the door on a dollar bill and try to pull it out with the door closed – hard to pull means the seals are good. If the bill slides out easily, you need new seals, available from any home repair outlet store.
Also, if your refrigerator has coils along the back, occasionally vacuum them to remove dirt and dust build up so they can work efficiently.
Another energy saving tip is to keep your refrigerator full. It uses less energy than trying to cool when it’s empty.
Try some simple home maintenance hacks to see how it helps you keep repair costs down and these simple tasks will also give you a great sense of accomplishment