Content Provided by AAA’s Preferred Insurance Supplier: MAPFRE Insurance
Whether you have owned your home for years or you are a first-time owner, a regular maintenance schedule is important for the upkeep of every house – no matter what time of the year.
By inspecting your home monthly and keeping up with routine projects, a regular maintenance schedule will save you from more complicated repairs down the road. Here is a recommended checklist to keep your home in working order all year long:
Check and replace filters
Some of your home’s appliances or products use filters and should be checked often to make sure dirt and dust isn’t building up. Among the appliances that should be checked and replaced when necessary are your stove’s range hood filter, your water filter (particularly if you have a well), your humidifier filter, and your air purifier filter. You should also regularly replace the HVAC filters used in your home’s heating and cooling system. These filters help remove dust, pollen, and other small particles out of the air in your home.
Vacuum heat and air vents
While you are checking filters, you should also go around vacuuming heat and air vents to make sure the flow of air isn’t being obstructed by dirt and dust. Before you do this, it’s recommended that you turn off your HVAC system first.
Check pipes for clogs
Your kitchen sink and bathroom drains should be routinely checked for clogs. If they are, they will be draining slowly. There are a number of ways you can unclog drains including a plunger, a hair clog remover tool, a drain snake, and with natural drain cleaning products.
Check faucets for cracks & leaks
In addition to making sure your drains aren’t clogged, faucets should be checked to see if they are cracked or leaking as seeping water will increase your utility bill. To check for cracks and leaks, look at the spout of the faucet as well as the base and under your sink.
Clean faucets and showerheads
Every faucet and showerhead fixture material is different so the best cleaner to use will depend on what you have in your bathroom, according to Better Homes & Gardens. Regardless, cleaning the fixtures will remove mineral deposits and prevent bacteria.
Clean dryer vent
To avoid fires caused by clothes dryers, mainly due to lint and dust build up, you should clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. The dryer vent that leads to the outside should also be cleaned once in a while to avoid fires and to keep your appliance in good working order.
Check furnace filter
While you should have a professional clean your furnace once a year, you should also get into the habit of cleaning your furnace filter monthly. This will help to alleviate the build-up of dust and keep the furnace running properly.
Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
Most people only test the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors once or twice a year but they should be tested regularly to make sure they are working properly. If you don’t want to check these monthly, consider investing in smart detectors which will provide you reminders when there are not only dangerous fumes or a fire in your home, but they will also remind you when the devices need attention.
Test fire extinguishers
Having portable fire extinguishers in your home may be what prevents a small fire from becoming a disaster. That’s why it’s important to make sure extinguishers are always operating correctly. The National Fire Protection Association recommends pressure gauges are in the operable range or position. For non-rechargeable extinguishers, make sure to operate the push-to-test pressure indicators.
Check electrical cords for wear
Electrical cords should be routinely checked to make sure they are not damaged, cracked or loose. If they are, they should be taken to a professional to be repaired or completely replaced.
While some things should be done regularly, there are other home maintenance tasks that you should consider performing a couple of times a year like inspecting your attic and basement for cracks in the walls or deteriorating insulation, vacuuming your refrigerator coils, and flushing your water heater.
AAA is here to help!
If all this seems overwhelming to you, there are many smartphone apps out there that can help you stay on track of your maintenance tasks. And make sure you have the right coverage for your home and auto insurance with AAA by talking to a AAA Insurance Agent.