As a new homeowner, it can seem intimidating or totally overwhelming keeping up with the tasks required of home ownership. Fortunately, most of this list of tasks can be completed on your own without much experience. Without further ado, here’s your regular home maintenance checklist:
- Inspect, and possibly change out HVAC filters
Experts will say to change the filters monthly, but that depends on the type of filter you use. Small families without pets or allergies only need to change them ever 2 or 3 months. Check the filter thoroughly. If it’s very dirty and clogged with dust or pet hair, change it. If it hardly looks any different than when it was installed, inspect it again next month.
- Clean kitchen sink disposal
There are several methods, but the easiest is with vinegar ice cubes. The vinegar will clean and freshen the disposal overall, but as a bonus, ice is said to sharpen the blades.
- Clean range hood filters
This is a task you don’t want to skip, as the build-up in the vent hood filter is a fire hazard. Use a degreaser from an auto parts store mixed with hot water. Let the filter sit for a few minutes, rinse it off, and you’re good to replace it. If you’ve never thought of doing this, the first time will be the worst and least pleasant.
- Inspect your fire extinguisher(s)
This inspection doesn’t require much: ensure the extinguisher is quickly and easily accessible, that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that there are no visible signs of wear and tear.
- Wash and rinse the clothes dryer lint screen
A quick soak in a vinegar and water solution should clear it of buildup and debris. Like with the range hood, build up can be a fire hazard. Brush off any remaining lint before washing.
- Test all smoke/carbon dioxide detectors
All detectors have a test button. If the alarm sounds, then it’s working properly. Change the batteries in them if they aren’t working. If that doesn’t solve the problem it may need to be replaced.
- Test the auto-reverse of automatic garage door openers
In 1993, federal law required all garage doors to have this feature after multiple child deaths, so you’ll want to test the garage door’s auto-reverse feature. Do this by placing a 2×4 on the ground where the door meets the ground. When the door hits the wood, the door should reverse and slide back open. Also test the photo-electric sensors (if your model has them) by placing an object in front of them. If the door doesn’t immediately go back up, you have a problem.
- Run water through sinks and flush infrequently used toilets
This is for guest rooms or other spaces that aren’t used regularly. You want to prevent grime or any other kind of buildup, as that can lead to potential plumbing issues. Regularly running a little bit of water through will prevent this.
- Test your water heater’s pressure relief valve
This prevents mineral and corrosion buildup, safeguarding against leaks. It also helps your heater run more efficiently.
- Give your house a deep clean
Give the whole house a proper deep clean. Choose one day every six months. Thoroughly clean appliances, windows, walls, baseboards, etc. Keeping things clean and not letting dirt, grime, and dust build up will help keep your home in shape.
- Replace batteries in smoke/carbon dioxide detectors
Don’t wait for the low battery beeping noise. Your detectors can save lives so you don’t want to skimp on something as simple and easy as a battery change.
- Vacuum your refrigerator coils
Over time, the coils get dusty and dirty and require more power to operate. Your refrigerator can use up to 15 percent of your home’s total power, so you want it running as efficiently as possible. You can save up to $100 a year by doing this.
Create a home maintenance calendar for yourself. Choose regular tasks for weekends and even out the pace. Finish them in the manner that fits you and your schedule, so your home will be as worry free as possible for years to come.