As a new homeowner, it can be easy to overlook all of the work that needs to be done on an ongoing basis, in addition to the miscellaneous costs. Neglecting some of this simple home maintenance, however, can end up costing you a lot more money in the end. Instead, you’re usually better off maintaining your home before any serious problems develop. In fact, this type of maintenance can help to save you money and frustration later on down the road. Here’s how:
Cleaning your gutters
Has it been a while since you’ve cleaned your gutters? You’ll want to get on that as soon as possible, and also implement a routine maintenance schedule so that too much gunk doesn’t build up in between cleanings. This is especially important if you live in an area that is prone to a lot of rain. If you neglect your gutters for too long, you may face some serious issues in the future. Because water can have difficulties getting through blocked gutters, it can accumulate near the foundation of your home and cause significant issues over the long-term. But by simply cleaning them routinely, you can avoid this completely.
Before the hot summer temperatures set in or the first harsh winter chill arrives, be sure to carefully check all of the windows and doors throughout your home. Even if you re-caulked everything last season, brutal climates can still eat away at it, and you’ll want to make sure it’s ready for the new temperature changes. If your caulking is cracked or hardening—even just slightly—it can allow unwanted, outside temperatures to creep inside your home. If your HVAC has to work extra hard to heat up or cool down your home, you’ll likely see a spike in your utility bills. Avoid these extra expenses by ensuring everything is properly sealed.
Check your roof
Have your roof inspected every so often (annually, for example) and have it repaired as needed. If you skip occasional inspections and minor repairs, even minimal damage can eventually develop into more significant problems later on. It could get to the point that it’s non-repairable, and that you’ll need to replace your roof completely, which can be very expensive.
If you have a home with a yard, it’s critical to keep your irrigation system in mind when you’re performing routine home maintenance. This can be easily overlooked, but it’s important to frequently check your sprinkler system for any parts that seem to be functioning poorly or that are leaking. For instance, simply having one of your sprinkler heads facing the wrong way can be a waste of money if you aren’t watering what you need to—not to mention, your grass might be dying as a result, especially if you live in an area that’s prone to droughts.
Your HVAC has filters that need to be replaced frequently. Depending on the type of filter you buy and the unit you have, you might need to replace these monthly, or every few months. You might also need to replace them more frequently if you have pets, smoke, or have severe allergies. If you’ve noticed a lot of dust in your home, it can be a sign that replacing your air filter is long overdue. They are inexpensive for the most part, and replacing them on schedule can save you a lot of money. If you don’t replace them when needed, your HVAC works a lot harder than it needs to. This doesn’t only put unnecessary stress on the unit itself, but can cause an increase in your bills.
Clean refrigerator coils
If your refrigerator coils are dirty, it will cause the generator to work much harder than needed, which can cause an increase in your utility bills. If you haven’t already begun doing so already, get into the habit of cleaning your refrigerator every three to six months. This is a simple task that doesn’t take long and can continue to save you money if you stay on top of it—just be sure to do it prior to grocery shopping and restocking your fridge, as you’ll usually need to temporarily unplug it in order to safely access the coils.
Regular furnace maintenance ensures that it operates well and lasts longer. Without regularly maintaining your furnace, it might not be working as efficiently as it could be. Additionally, it might need to be replaced much sooner than if it was properly maintained, which could cost you a lot more money. Save yourself from the aggravation and added expense by including your furnace as part of your routine home maintenance.
Check on the insulation in your attic
You should frequently assess the insulation throughout your entire home, but the attic is one part of the room that is often neglected. If you have an attic in your home, you’ll want to make sure it’s properly insulated when you’re performing your routine home maintenance. The insulation in your attic can retain heat, ensure the air is being properly ventilated, and control moisture. Without proper attic insulation, you could be looking at a world of expensive problems that eventually creep Into other parts of your home. Make sure that the entire space is well-insulated; if you notice any issues, be sure to repair what’s needed, or consider replacing the insulation entirely, if necessary.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.