Owning a home is one of life’s great joys and achievements. However, with homeownership comes responsibility, and taking proper care of your home through regular maintenance and repairs is essential to protect your investment and prevent costly problems down the road. A consistent home maintenance routine will keep your house in top shape for years to come. Visit Bax Clean if you’d like to know more about window and gutter cleaning.
Read on for practical guidance to implement a proactive home maintenance plan.
1. Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Clogged gutters can lead to water seeping into the fascia, soffit, or roof. This excess moisture can cause rot, mold, deteriorated siding, and damage to walls or ceilings. To prevent overflowing gutters, it is important to clean them in the spring and fall when debris accumulates the most.
Use a ladder to safely access the gutters and remove leaves, sticks, and other debris by hand or with a small trowel. A gutter scoop or specially designed gutter cleaning tool can make the process faster, so invest in that and make sure to thoroughly rinse gutters with a hose attachment afterward.
Doing this maintenance in the fall after leaves drop and again in mid-spring will keep rainwater flowing away from your home properly. Clogged gutters can easily lead to thousands in damage, so keeping them clean is time well spent.
2. Service the HVAC System
Have a professional technician perform a yearly tune-up on your heating and cooling system. They will thoroughly inspect all components and ensure safe operation. As technology evolves, newer options like heat pumps are becoming popular in many homes. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, you might want to Google “what is a heat pump” to understand its benefits and if it’s a suitable addition to your system.
This preventative maintenance helps your HVAC system run more efficiently, saving on energy costs. It also catches small problems before they turn into major repairs.
In addition to annual service, you should:
- Change filters monthly during high usage seasons.
- Clear debris away from outdoor AC units.
- Arrange service promptly for any issues between tune-ups.
- Consider enrolling in a preventative maintenance plan.
- Ask about upgrades to improve efficiency.
Proper maintenance keeps your HVAC system running smoothly all year long. The investment of an annual tune-up is small compared to the cost of emergency repairs or system replacement. For a furnace service that understands Winnipeg’s needs, choose Abundant Air.
3. Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Properly functioning smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are absolutely vital for home safety. These devices should be tested on a monthly basis by pressing the test button to trigger the alarm. This ensures the audible alert works in case of emergency.
Batteries in smoke and CO detectors should be replaced once a year, even if they are still working. It is also critical to replace batteries immediately if you hear the low battery warning chirp from the detector.
In addition to testing and timely battery replacement, smoke detectors and CO detectors do expire:
- Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years.
- Carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every 5-7 years.
Having adequate coverage on every level of the home provides an extra layer of protection for your family. There should be smoke detectors outside each sleeping area and on every level. CO detectors should be located on every level and near sleeping areas.
Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for testing, battery replacement, and replacement of smoke and CO detectors ensures these lifesaving devices will work properly when needed. Check them monthly and change batteries annually for peace of mind.
4. Inspect the Roof and Attic
As your home’s first line of defense against the elements, the roof endures a lot of wear and tear. It is important to inspect it visually twice per year, in spring and fall, looking for any damaged, loose, or missing shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckling, or missing granules should be replaced.
The attic is also important to check for leaks, mildew, insulation issues, or damage. Look for water stains or dampness on the underside of the roof sheathing. Inspect around vents, skylights, and chimneys for any gaps or cracks. Ensure insulation is adequate and evenly distributed. Address any issues right away to prevent water intrusion and damage.
In climates with severe weather, having your roof professionally inspected every 2-3 years is wise. A roofing contractor can spot potential problems early before they escalate into major leaks. They will also make recommendations for any roof repairs or replacement based on its age, material, and condition.
Stay ahead of roof problems by regularly inspecting for damage and having periodic professional assessments. Address any issues immediately to protect your home’s interior from moisture damage.
5. Inspect and Replace Air Filters Regularly
Air filters play a critical role in maintaining indoor air quality and allowing your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to run efficiently. Over time, air filters accumulate dust, allergens, pet dander, pollen, and other debris. This buildup restricts proper airflow, increases energy consumption as the system works harder to compensate, and can even cause your HVAC system to break down completely.
To prevent these problems, it is essential to inspect your air filters at least once a month. For standard 1-inch filters, a good rule of thumb is to replace them every 90 days. When installing a new filter, always write the date on it with a permanent marker so you know when it is time for the next change.
Tips for air filter maintenance:
- Check filters monthly and replace them as needed. Every 90 days is typical for 1-inch filters.
- Note the install date on new filters so you can create a replacement schedule.
- Consider upgrading to a pleated filter, which provides better airflow and filtration.
- Make sure filters are properly sized for your HVAC system.
- Change filters more frequently during high-use months or if you have pets.
- Make sure the filter slot is clean before inserting a new filter.
Following this simple air filter inspection and replacement schedule will keep your HVAC system running at peak performance. Your home’s indoor air will be cleaner, your energy bills will be lower, and serious system breakdowns will be avoided.
Caring for your home through regular inspections, maintenance, and repairs will help safeguard your investment and prevent costly problems. Protect your most valuable asset by being proactive. Incorporate these eight tips into a routine home maintenance plan. Your home will look better, function optimally, and provide comfort and security for many years to come. With a little diligence, you can keep your house in great shape and avoid major headaches.