Cleaning out your gutters, tightening loose screws or fixing that window pane may not be your ideal day off. However, if you are a homeowner you no doubt understand that your home is a huge investment and needs proper maintenance.
Some maintenance tasks are obvious and easy for many to handle. There are some tasks, however, that you may accidentally ignore. Ignoring preventative tasks can lead to some devastating outcomes. These few tasks you can do every year for your house will run like a well-oiled machine.
Check Detectors, monitors and change batteries if necessary
We should first start with being sure that your home has smoke detectors, and that there is the proper amount for your home. The National Fire Protection Association recommends homes should have smoke alarms installed inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
That means a 2 story, a 3-bedroom house needs a minimum of five smoke alarms. As a simple rule of thumb, you should check and change the batteries in smoke detectors each year and replace the detectors after ten years.
Carbon monoxide alarms are also extremely important for the home and they monitor when levels may get too high and lead to poisoning. Because CO mixes with the air so easily and doesn’t seem to have a smell, we are very susceptible to poisoning if your alarms batteries are low or if they are outdated.
CO alarms should be installed on each level of the home and outside sleeping areas. Most Carbon Monoxide filters have an average lifespan of five to seven years, however, your battery needs to be checked every year.
Clean your carpets
Most homeowners have not gotten their home carpets professionally cleaned past 5 years. While vacuuming regularly is a good way to keep your carpets free of surface dirt, it is not an efficient way to clean the actual carpet itself. Most household carpets are made of fibers secured to a mesh underlay, which makes then just large pieces of fabric. We all wash our clothes, bed linens, and towel and other fabrics, it should be no different for your carpets.
Allergens, discolorations, pet stains, food spills, and even mold can build up in our carpets overtime, so they require more attention than we give them. A yearly cleaning will lengthen your carpets life along with clear your home of all of the dirt and germs that carpets can harbor.
Checking your Windows and Doors for Leaks
Did you know that over a third of the amount of energy we use goes escapes right out our windows and doors? With many Americans opening their doors dozens of times a day it is no surprise that the front door would be a large escape point for our precious heating and cooling. However, most may not realize that their door may also be letting air escape through tiny dents in the frame or edges of the door.
A yearly inspection around spring or fall is a great idea if you are looking to lower your energy expenditure. Your front door could also not be properly insulated which allows heat or cool air to escape. Windows take up many scrapes and nicks from window fan units and A/C units to just being opened and closed millions of times over their lifespan. If your home’s windows need to be replaced also, look into double or even triple painted options. They offer more noise reductions, safety, along with less energy going out the windows- which mean more money in your pocket as well.
Inspect for Pests
While Pests can occur at any time of year, an annual check around fall call be best as many pests try to move indoors for shelter from the winter. Termites, ants, carpenter bees and mice are just a few of the pests that can try to make your home their home too. There are a few infestations ants or a single rodent that may be resolved yourself provided the right supplies and a bit of creativity. However, larger issues such as termites, demand professional assistance. Pest control companies can cost $300 to $550 per visit. However, if you have a continuing pest problem, like mice, consider an annual contract, with a monthly fee.
Also Read: 9 Tips For Controlling The Pests In Summer
Because infestations can happen at any time, you also need to be diligent and take steps to reduce the risk year-round. You can get mattresses protectors to prevent invaders like bed bugs. Keep an eye out for holes where mice or roaches can get in. Be sure to also check your attics and basements for pests like raccoons or rats. If you go on a trip and suspect you brought unwanted friends’ home in your luggage, be sure to unpack your luggage outdoors and then wash all your clothes immediately.
Also Read: 4 Ways to Eliminate Pests in Your Home
Clean out your Dryer Vent
Your dryer can become very dangerous if proper maintenance is not done. Lint can clog several areas in the dryer and pose a fire hazard. With gas dryers especially, these fires can quickly take over your home. It is estimated that clothes dryers cause 2,900 fires a year, with many fires happening in the fall and winter, according to the United States Fire Administration. Lint is a major culprit, so have your dryer vent inspected and cleaned annually by an HVAC specialist who specializes in ductwork or dryer vents. One visit yearly can cost you under $100 but save you much more in fire prevention.
Also Read: 10 Maintenance Tips for Your Washer & Dryer
Taking a few of your days off inspecting these common maintenance tasks can save you thousands in the long run. You should never fall into the thought trap of “well it hasn’t caused a problem yet”. None of our belongings are meant to last forever and will inevitably break or need to be cleaned at some point so just keep a leg up on these tasks so they don’t sneak up on you when they finally develop a problem.