We all know how difficult it is to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Telling yourself that you’ll exercise more and eat better both seem like they’re great ideas — that is, until your alarm goes off at 5 a.m. for you to get up and work out, or you’re handed a slice of cake at your friend’s birthday party. Why not stick to a resolution you can keep … like keeping up with your home’s maintenance and repair needs?
Your family’s home is likely your biggest (and most expensive) investment. So it only makes sense to make it your goal to do what you can to ensure your home is safe, efficient, and in tip-top shape overall.
What exactly does this mean when it comes to what you should do? Read on to learn more.
Keep up with maintenance.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is a saying you’ve probably heard before. When Benjamin Franklin spoke this line, he likely wasn’t referring to keeping up with home maintenance, but the saying still holds true. It’s a good idea to keep up with appliance maintenance around your home to do your part to prevent an untimely and expensive breakdown.
Heating and cooling systems
And when it comes to maintaining your heating and cooling systems, know that they should be tuned-up on an annual basis by a professional. When you have a maintenance appointment for your furnace and/or air conditioner, a knowledgeable expert will inspect all parts inside your system to be sure things are operating safely, efficiently, and aren’t in need of a repair or replacement. If a potential problem is discovered, it can be addressed early on — before resulting in an untimely breakdown of the unit.
Homeowner DIY maintenance
Here are a couple easy do-it-yourself jobs. In addition to scheduling a maintenance appointment for your heating and cooling systems, replace your air filter on a monthly basis. This is the part of your HVAC system where all conditioned air passes through. Its job is to capture airborne materials, like dust and pet hair, and prevent them from getting pushed out through your home’s vents. If the filter is clogged, it’ll jeopardize your family’s indoor air quality and may also cause a strain on your heating and cooling systems by forcing them to work harder to move warm or cool air. In turn, this could lead to unexpected repairs and/or higher energy bills.
Also, routinely go through your home to make sure your vents aren’t blocked by rugs, curtains, furniture, or anything else. When the air flow from your vents is obstructed, it could make your home feel unevenly cooled or heated. Not just that, but this could force your AC and furnace to work overtime to keep your home comfortable — something that could cause premature wear and tear on your unit(s).
Don’t neglect problems that require repairs.
Many homeowners will mistakenly believe that they can just ignore a problem for “a little while longer.” Unfortunately, whatever the problem may be — it’s not going to magically get better on its own. Plus, the longer you wait to get the issue taken care of, the worse it’ll likely be. This could be said for any type of problem in your home, regardless if it’s damage to your roof, windows, gutters, insulation, etc. Below are some common areas of a home that need to be checked.
Outside your home
Now is a great time to do an inspection of the outside of your home to check for any potential problems. It’s no surprise that the harsh winter weather can cause damage to your home’s exterior. Make note of any missing or damaged shingles that will need to be replaced. Check your gutters and downspouts to ensure they’re securely attached to your home’s exterior. Seal any openings in your window or door frames where you feel a draft come through. And lastly, examine your concrete surfaces and check for any cracks or unlevel surfaces that need to be fixed.
Inside your home
Inside your home, check your basement, bathrooms, and kitchen for any potential mold growth — these are common areas in a home for that to happen. To survive, mold needs moisture, oxygen, and organic material to feed on. You should also make note of any areas of your home that feel less comfortable than others. This could be an indication that you need extra insulation to keep conditioned air inside your home where it belongs. And lastly, replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms if it’s been a while since you’ve done so.
Contact a pro for help
For any necessary repairs, work with a professional in your area. Word to the wise — it’s best to try and schedule these repairs now before nice weather hits and everyone else is trying to get their home in shape for spring! Appointments with home repair companies may fill up fast once nice weather arrives.
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