For homeowners, it can be overwhelming to keep track of all the necessary home maintenance tasks. It’s helpful to make a calendar with reminders for all of your monthly tasks and those required less frequently throughout the year. Here is a guide to help you plan for home maintenance.
Home Maintenance Every Month
Test Smoke and CO Alarms
To keep your home safe and protected from fire and carbon monoxide, regularly monitor your home’s detectors to make sure they are operational. Once per month, go through the home and press the test button on each alarm to make sure it sounds. If it doesn’t, it means you need to change the batteries or check the hardwiring.
Change HVAC Filters
HVAC filters keep the air clean that circulates through your home. They capture dust and other allergens, but when they get clogged up they won’t work as efficiently. Dirty filters send pollutants back into the air. Some HVAC systems need their filters changed monthly while others recommend changing the filter every 3 – 6 months. Refer to the manual for your system and stock up on extra filters so you always have a replacement filter ready.
Every 6 Months
Home Maintenance for Gutters
Most homes need their gutters cleaned twice a year. Houses that are surrounded by many trees might require more frequent gutter cleaning. Gutters direct rainwater off the roof and away from the foundation. If the gutters are dirty, water will get stuck in them and back up, damaging the roof, siding, and foundation. It’s an intensive job, so hire professionals if you aren’t up to cleaning them yourself.
Before you switch over to using heat or AC each year, schedule a professional HVAC servicing. A technician will come out and inspect and clean the components. This service often catches issues early that may cause a breakdown at a more inconvenient time. The technician will make any needed repairs so that your system is ready to go.
Home Maintenance for the Water Heater
If you have a tank water heater, increase its lifespan by flushing it out twice every year to remove the sediment from the bottom of the tank. If you have hard water with lots of minerals, the sediment will build up more quickly and you may need to do this more often.
Change Detector Batteries
Even if your detectors always sound when you press the test button, it’s still a good idea to change their batteries twice a year so you can be sure that the batteries don’t die. One way to remember this task is to change them at Daylight Savings.
Home Maintenance for the Fireplace and Chimney
If you have a wood-burning or gas fireplace, schedule an inspection every year to make sure it is safe. A professional will inspect and clean it, and notify you of any needed repairs. For wood-burning fireplaces, the chimney will also be cleaned to remove creosote, which is highly flammable and can cause a chimney fire.
Seal Wooden Decks and Fences
Most wooden decks and fences need to be re-stained and sealed every year to keep them in good condition. If the surface is splintering, sand it down before applying the stain. This exterior home maintenance practice will keep your wooden decks and fences from rotting.