Owning a home involves a lot of expenses, but there is more to being a responsible homeowner than paying your mortgage on time. For your home to be in great shape, there are several maintenance tasks you must regularly undertake- monthly, seasonally, or after a few years.
Periodic home maintenance is crucial because it prevents long-term damage, enhances the quality of your home, and adds to its market value. Also, routine home checks and maintenance save you a lot of money because you get to fix minor problems before they become major issues.
Furthermore, yard maintenance increases your home safety since stray branches and overgrown bushes often provide easy hiding places for burglars. And simple maintenance of home appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines extends their life spans and keeps them in great shape for years to come.
Overall, you keep your home running efficiently and your energy consumption minimal since your appliances won’t need to work harder to function. Besides, home insurance and warranties don’t typically cover breakdowns caused by poor maintenance.
For instance, a home insurance company may not cover flooding in your attic or roof if the flood was caused by clogged gutters, you never cleaned. Similarly, a home warranty may not cover a broken-down HVAC system if the fan burned out from excessive strain because the filters were not changed for over a year.
Most of the maintenance your home needs are simple things you can do yourself on zero budget. But you may need to make some expenses if your house needs major intervention like foundation repairs, roof replacement, heating/AC repairs, septic system repairs, or pipe replacements.
You can save for home repairs or fund them through home equity loans or personal loans. If you are a senior who owns the majority equity of your home, you could obtain funds for home repairs through reverse mortgages. You can determine how much money you could get based on the value of your property using a reverse mortgage calculator (https://reverse.mortgage/calculator). Here are essential home maintenance tasks you need to perform regularly as a homeowner.
- HVAC Servicing
You should change your HVAC filter. HVAC companies and air filter manufacturers often recommend air filter changes every three months. But the timeline may vary depending on how old your system is, whether you have pets, where your home is located, and how often you use the HVAC system.
For a vacation home you don’t usually live in, you can change your air filters once a year or every nine months. If you have pets in the home or allergic conditions, consider changing your air filters every two months or after 45 days.
You can set up a yearly check-up for your HVAC unit by having a professional inspect and service it. Consider doing this during spring as you gear up for the hot summer months. While doing regular HVAC filter maintenance, check the refrigerant lines (the two copper lines connecting the indoor evaporator coil to the air conditioner or heat pump). If you observe any leak, call a technician to address it to avoid overworking your unit.
- Clean Your Gutters
Debris and leaves can block your roof gutters and downspouts, preventing rainwater from draining properly. If water overflows from gutters, it may cause significant damage to the exterior and interior of your home.
Since clogged gutters give rainwater nowhere to run, it can cause roof leaks. The leaves in your gutters that accumulate over a long period can become homes for insects, rodents, and birds.
So, gutter cleaning should be a priority for you as a homeowner. Consider cleaning your gutters at least twice a year. But if you have a lot of foliage close to your home, such as pine trees, you may clean them every three months.
- Clean Your Chimney
After putting your fireplace through rigorous work throughout the colder seasons, make out time to clean your chimney thoroughly. A clean chimney allows for a more efficient burn and improves your home’s overall warmth.
Also, cleaning your chimneys helps prevent the risk of a fire. As your fireplace is utilized over time, creosote, a highly flammable residue similar to tar, builds up in the chimney.
So, regardless of the type of wood you burn, you must carry out regular chimney cleaning. Even if you’re using a gas fireplace, you should have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year. You may clean your chimney yourself, but it’s preferable to have a pro handle it.