Creating a Home Maintenance Plan
Maintenance is the key to reducing home repair costs and extending the life of many systems in your home.
Your plumbing, HVAC system and fire prevention devices all need ongoing maintenance to keep them in good working order to avoid repairs and premature replacement. However, staying on top of these repairs can be a chore without a plan in place. Setting up a plan on your calendar to have needed maintenance done can help you save money and avoid expensive emergency repairs.
Technology has made it easier to manage your schedule. You can use your computer or smartphone to create alerts when home maintenance needs to be done. Or, if you prefer paper and pen, mark your calendar with reminders at the beginning of each year in the designated months and days when you should be completing your needed home maintenance. If you don’t have a plan and schedule, you are more likely to forget to keep up on all your maintenance, which can lead to unexpected repair issues.
Monthly Home Maintenance
While many home systems only need maintenance once or a few times a year, some that are used more frequently also need more frequent maintenance. Schedule one day per month to check these areas and do any needed maintenance:
- Change or inspect air filters. Many air filters need to be changed monthly to maintain good air quality in your home. This is extremely important in the summer months when you are using your air conditioning every day. At least inspect your air filter each month, changing as needed.
- Clean your garbage disposal. Many households use their garbage disposal every day, so you should make sure it stays clean and inspect the function. To clean, put some ice down the drain and run the water while you chop the ice in the disposal.
- Inspect your fire extinguisher. You never know when you will need your fire extinguisher. Make sure it is easy to reach and the pressure gauge is showing adequate pressure. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, it is time to get one.
Quarterly Home Maintenance
Every three months you should add quarterly maintenance items to your calendar. Schedule these checks for March, June, September and December.
- Water filtration or softener. If you have a water filtration system or softener, you should inspect this every three months. Filtration systems may need filters changed and softeners may need salt or other chemicals added. Check with the manufacturer’s recommendations – some softeners may require monthly maintenance.
- Inspect air quality alarms. Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home every quarter. Use the test button to make sure they are working and replace batteries as needed.
- Check plumbing fixtures. Look under sinks for drips and make sure there are no plumbing problems in your kitchen, bathrooms or laundry room. If you have bathrooms or sinks that are rarely used, flush the toilets and run water to flush out buildup in the pipes and fixtures.
Twice a year, plan to delve deeper into your home maintenance. Some of these may require some professional help!
- HVAC service – Most people will want to call in a professional to do their HVAC service. Every spring and fall, you should have your HVAC system inspected and serviced to help extend the life of your unit and to avoid emergency repairs during the summer and winter months.
- Test the pressure release valve on your water heater. Make sure the pressure relief valve on your water heater is working to prevent leaks and build up. (Only necessary on standard water heaters tanks.)
- Deep cleaning – Spring and fall cleaning of the nooks and crannies in your home can help keep a healthy, clean home. Clean window dressings, vacuum in recessed corners and shampoo the carpets. Make sure to clean under and behind appliances in the kitchen; food debris can attract pests. Vacuum the refrigerator coils to keep the appliance running efficiently.
Finally, there are some systems that only need annual maintenance. You might want to put these right at the beginning of the year to start each year off with a clean slate.
- Water heater maintenance – Your water heater should be drained and serviced at least once a year.
- Garage door – Clean the inside and outside of your garage door and have the opener serviced.
- Clean gutters and roof – This you may want to do in the spring – have your gutters and roof cleaned, and inspect for any damage.
- Clean chimney (if you have one).
- Check caulking around tubs, sinks and other plumbing fixtures. Replace as needed.
Staying on track with home maintenance can save you thousands of dollars in repairs and replacement costs. Mason Mechanical can help make maintenance easy for your plumbing and HVAC systems.