Maintenance Tips For Year-Round Savings
Not only will maintaining your home keep it in tip-top shape, it will save you money in the long run. While this isn’t as fun as decorating, it is satisfying to know that you have done all you can to keep your home safe and running efficiently. Since not everyone is a homeowner, there is a brief list of things to do in a rental home at the bottom of this post.
Seasonal Maintenance Musts
Basic maintenance is pretty simple to do yourself, and it can be broken down into seasonally appropriate tasks. For simplicity, let’s go by the calendar seasons, but in your area, you need to tweak timing according to the local weather. You should do these tasks yearly; here is a link to printable checklists with maintenance tips by season that you can use.
Flush your hot water heater and clean out the sediment buildup in the bottom. Every other year you should also get the pressure relief valve checked. This is especially important in areas with hard water. The buildup can ruin the heating elements and cause early failure of the unit. It also lessens the ability of it to heat water efficiently. Before it gets cold you should get a yearly check of your furnace to make sure it is ready for use. If you have window a/c units, now is the time to cover them or remove them for storage.
This is a great time to do some indoor maintenance. A good starting place is checking the caulk around bathtubs, showers, and sinks, replacing any that is cracked or lifting. If you have trim around windows, check the caulk there while you are at it. Another bathroom item is cleaning the sediment out of showerheads. You might also need to clean off hard water deposits that can obstruct the flow of water. Work your way through the house and check doorknobs for looseness, tighten them up if needed. You should also check locks to make sure they work smoothly; if not, squirt a little graphite powder into them to keep them easy to operate.
Get your air conditioner ready for summer now, have an annual inspection on the system. If you have window units reinstall and test them. Clean the gutters to prevent water from backing up under the roof and causing damage to your shingles. Look over the roof while you are up on the ladder. If you see anything that looks damaged or loose call a reputable roofing company for an inspection.
Spring is also a great time to prune trees to get branches off of electric lines and your roof.
It’s time to head back indoors for some tasks. Check the grout around tiles, in bathrooms and kitchen especially, to head off any leaks that could ruin walls and floors. Look under sinks and in access panels at plumbing, repair any leaks you find, and if you feel ambitious you can take off the p-trap and clean it out. Now is a good time to check and clean out the dryer vent, if it is an outdated plastic hose or has holes, replace it. While you are dealing with nasty built-up dirt vacuum the refrigerator coils and underneath the fridge, it will run better and save electricity.
Every quarter in addition to the seasonal tasks, you should test your smoke detectors and garage door opener auto-reverse feature. If you have a water softener, the salt usually needs filling at this interval.
It’s a good practice to change the filters on your HVAC system monthly, if they are clogged, airflow is blocked and eventually your unit can be damaged. If you have a fire extinguisher, check it at the same time for pressure, and replace or recharge it if it has lost pressure. Last, clean the range hood filter by removing it and either soaking in hot soapy water or running it through the dishwasher.
Many of you live in rentals, both houses and apartments. Lots of the above-listed maintenance is handled by the landlord. As you find things that need repair let the landlord know. Some leases require the tenant to handle smaller items like air filters, maintaining drains to prevent clogs, and items that are cleaning related like vacuuming refrigerator coils.
Here at BillCutterz, we are in the business of saving you time and money. Many of the tips listed here are to help save electricity. We can also help to find you the best rates for many of your other bills like Cable TV, Satellite TV, Cell Phones, Internet, and many more. Call or email us today so we can start saving you money on your monthly bills.