If you've ever owned a home before, you know that just like your vehicle needs regular maintenance like oil changes to run well—so does your home. It can be easy to ignore or put these things off, but a well-maintained home will save you money from costly repairs in the long run, and make your home easier to sell when the time comes.
Start giving your home some TLC with some of these must-do maintenance tips:
- Change HVAC or furnace filters. If your family is small and pet-free, simply inspect the filter and replace every 2-3 months.
- Clean range hood filters. Mix a degreaser with hot water, let it soak, then rinse it off.
- Check water softener. Check the salt level, add some if needed, and read the display to make sure no error codes are displayed. You'll usually only add salt a few times a year.
- Deep clean. Roll up your sleeves and deep clean appliances, windows, lighting, and every crevice and corner. Keeping a clean home and not letting dirt build up will help keep it polished.
- Test the pressure relief valve on the water heater. This prevents corrosion—protecting leaks and helping it run efficiently.
- Replace batteries in smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. Make it a habit to change batteries every time you set the clocks for daylight savings time.
- Vacuum refrigerator coils. The fridge can account for up to 15 percent of your home's total power—keep it running efficiently.
Annually Organized by Season
Spring – There's a reason it's called "Spring Cleaning"
- Service central air. Do this before the weather heats up– you can often get this done at a discounted rate with enough time to spare before it gets sweltering hot.
- Check gutters and drainage. When April showers start coming down, will the water flow away from your house? Keep gutters clear so the water can flow where it's supposed to.
- Test sump pump. You don't want to wait until you need it to find out it's not working!
- Check grout in the bathroom and kitchen. Fix the grout where needed—This will extend the life of tiled surfaces and keep them looking new.
- Check windows and screens. Clean window wells of fall and winter debris.
Summer – Shift your focus to the outdoors and enjoy the sunshine
- Clean ducts, sweep the chimney and get heating systems ready. You'll be turning these on at the first hint of crisp fall weather, so do this now.
- Check and clean the clothes dryer vent. While running, check the exhaust for the smell of fresh laundry. If the exhaust is marginal, check for blockages. Also, vacuum the lint from dryer hose.
- Clean garage. The garage is easy to ignore, get out there while the weather is nice, and check garage door sensors are working while you're in there.
Fall – prepare for winter during this in-between season
- Winterize A/C systems. Store window units and, if you have central air, cover the outside unit with a tarp. Don't forget to fasten with bungee cords for secure coverage throughout the season.
- Flush and store hoses. Drain the water so it doesn't freeze.
Winter – cozy up and stay warm
- Break Icicles. As pretty as they look, don't let them grow—they could fall unexpectedly, hurt someone and cause damage from their weight. When they melt, they can cause water damage to the foundation.
- Remove showerheads and clean deposits. This will keep your water pressure strong and keep them lasting long.
- Check the foundation for cracks. Use caulk or silicone to repair any small cracks before the Spring thaw.
While this list is comprehensive, this is not a complete list of all the things your home needs. Don't forget to reach out to your local real estate pro for more information on other crucial home upkeep.