Choosing the best home maintenance jobs to do might occasionally feel daunting for those of us who aren’t experts in house repair. It doesn’t have to be a difficult task, though. By making a list of objectives and concentrating on your home’s most important features, you may be able to accelerate the process. For instance, keep your plumbing system maintained correctly to avoid future expensive repairs, or make sure your roof is frequently examined to minimize leaks and other problems.
Making a program or routine for carrying out certain maintenance activities is another piece of advice. This may keep you organized and make sure that nothing gets missed. You can efficiently keep up with routine inspections and modest repairs before they turn into bigger problems by devoting only a few hours per month or so.
Don’t be scared to seek out professional guidance if you need it. Even though many smaller maintenance jobs may be completed by the homeowner with some basic skills and equipment, there are some situations when hiring professionals is preferable. Companies like Choice Home Warranty offer comprehensive coverage plans that can provide peace of mind knowing that major appliances and systems in your home maintenance are protected.
Home Maintenance During Winter
The winter season brings unique challenges for homeowners, from keeping the house warm to ensuring safety and efficiency in various appliances and systems. Proper home maintenance during winter is the key to a comfortable and secure living environment.
1. Importance of Annual Furnace Servicing
Having your furnace serviced annually by a competent professional is crucial for both efficiency and safety. It’s a requirement for Choice Home Warranty contracts, and failure to do so may lead to complaints. Regular servicing ensures your furnace operates efficiently and reduces the risk of potential hazards.
2. Safety Precautions with Woodburning Stoves and Chimneys
Woodburning stove connector pipes and chimneys should undergo annual inspections by a certified chimney sweep. This inspection ensures that these components are in good condition and operate safely, reducing the risk of chimney fires and carbon monoxide leaks.
3. Detecting Gas Leaks: A Crucial Winter Check
During winter, it’s important to conduct a thorough check for gas leaks around appliances. A simple sniff around the appliance can help detect any unusual gas odors, ensuring immediate action to prevent potential gas leaks, which can be hazardous.
4. Insulating Pipes for Winter Protection
Insulating pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic is a preventive measure to protect them from freezing during winter. Frozen pipes can lead to bursting, causing significant damage to your home. Proper insulation helps maintain a consistent temperature and prevents freezing.
5. Keeping the Exterior Clean and Debris-Free
Clearing debris from window wells, gutters, downspouts, and storm drains is crucial to avoid water accumulation and potential damage. This home maintenance task ensures water flows smoothly away from your home, preventing water-related issues.
6. Dryer Maintenance for Safety and Efficiency
Regularly cleaning the clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper, and the space under the dryer is essential for both safety and efficiency. Lint buildup poses a fire hazard and reduces the dryer’s efficiency, so regular cleaning is key.
7. Ensuring Adequate Attic Ventilation
Checking the attic for adequate ventilation is vital to prevent issues like moisture buildup and mold growth. Proper ventilation helps maintain the integrity of your roof and the overall health of your home.
8. Caulking Doors and Windows for Energy Efficiency
Checking and ensuring the caulking around doors and windows is adequate is crucial to reduce heat loss during winter. Proper caulking helps in maintaining an energy-efficient home and lowers heating costs.
9. Kitchen Exhaust Hood and Air Filter Maintenance
Regularly cleaning the kitchen exhaust hood and air filters not only ensures efficient performance but also contributes to healthier indoor air quality. A clean exhaust system and filters prevent grease buildup and maintain a fresh atmosphere in your kitchen.
10. Checking Water Hoses in Appliances
Inspecting the water hoses on the clothes washer, refrigerator icemaker, and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles is important to prevent water leaks and potential water damage. Replacing damaged hoses promptly is a proactive measure to avoid costly repairs.
Spring Home Maintenance
As the weather transitions to a warmer climate, it’s vital to prepare your home maintenance for the upcoming season. Spring maintenance is all about addressing any issues that winter might have left behind and prepping your home for the summer ahead.
1. Checking Light Bulbs and Electrical Systems
A straightforward yet crucial step is to check all light bulbs in your fixtures to ensure they are of the correct wattage. Efficient lighting not only saves energy but also sets the right ambiance in your living spaces. Additionally, a review of your electrical system can help identify any potential hazards and prevent accidents.
2. Lightning Protection for Your Home
For your home, think about adding a lightning protection system. Lightning strikes can cause significant damage, and having this safeguard in place is a wise move. It’s important to note that lightning, power surges, or natural disasters are generally not covered by standard home warranties.
3. Air Conditioning Maintenance
Hire a professional air conditioning contractor to inspect and maintain your system according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This ensures optimal performance and longevity of your air conditioning unit, aligning with the requirements of your home warranty contract.
4. Landscaping and Airflow
Trimming shrubs and plants near the condensing unit of your air conditioning system is crucial to ensure proper airflow and circulation. This simple landscaping task can contribute to the efficiency of your cooling system.
5. Roof Inspection and Protection
Inspect your roof for any damages that might have occurred during the winter. Roof protection is vital, and you can explore optional coverage plans offered by providers like Choice Home Warranty.
6. Preventing Sewer or Drain Back-Up
To avoid potential losses due to sewer or drain back-ups, take necessary precautions to protect your home. Implementing preventive measures can save you from significant hassle and financial burdens.
7. Water Heater Maintenance
Regularly drain sediment from your water heater tank following the manufacturer’s recommendations. This simple maintenance task can improve the efficiency and longevity of your water heater.
8. Plumbing Fixture Check
Ensure all shutoff valves at each plumbing fixture in your home maintenance are functioning correctly. A thorough check can help you identify any issues early on and prevent potential water-related damages.
9. Dryer Maintenance
Maintaining your dryer is vital for both safety and efficiency. Clean the exhaust duct, damper, and the space under the dryer regularly. This keeps your dryer working effectively and reduces the risk of fires.
10. Inspecting Water Supply Hoses
Regularly inspect the cold and hot water supply hoses for cracks and deterioration. Replace any damaged hoses to prevent leaks and potential water damage.
Annual System Maintenance: A Pre-Summer Essential
Before the scorching summer temperatures set in, it’s prudent to schedule an annual system maintenance service for your home. Choice Home Warranty contracts often necessitate proper maintenance of your air conditioning unit. Regular check-ups and maintenance not only ensure the efficient operation of your system but also enhance its durability, potentially saving you from unexpected expenses and inconveniences.
1. Curtains Closed, Comfort Enhanced
When the sun is at its strongest, keeping your curtains drawn will significantly reduce the amount of heat that enters your home. It may be challenging for your cooling systems to maintain a comfortable temperature since sunlight may considerably increase indoor temperatures. By using curtains strategically, you can aid in reducing this heat gain and minimizing the strain on your cooling systems.
2. Cooking Smart: Utilizing Exhaust Fans
Cooking during the summer can release excess heat and humidity into your living spaces. To counteract this, utilize exhaust fans while cooking to swiftly remove the extra heat, ensuring a cooler and more comfortable indoor atmosphere. This simple practice can contribute to a more pleasant environment and help your air conditioning system operate more efficiently.
3. Energy Efficiency: Managing Registers and Windows
Efficiency is key when it comes to managing your home’s temperature. Closing registers in unused rooms can help redirect cool air to the areas you frequent, optimizing the cooling process. Additionally, sealing any air gaps by caulking and weather-stripping your windows can prevent cold air from escaping and warm air from infiltrating, promoting a more energy-efficient and cost-effective home.
4. Temperature Control: Optimal Thermostat Settings
Setting your thermostat at a moderate temperature, around 78 degrees Fahrenheit, ensures a balance between comfort and energy conservation. This temperature setting can help you stay comfortable without placing excessive strain on your cooling system, resulting in energy savings and a lower utility bill.
5. Fireplace Usage: Safety and Efficiency
It’s crucial to keep the flue closed while not in use if you have a fireplace. An open chimney can allow warm air to escape throughout the summer, making it more challenging for your cooling systems to maintain the ideal inside temperature. When the fireplace is not in use, keeping the chimney closed keeps your house cool.
6. Optimal Air Circulation: Positioning Your Furniture
The placement of your furniture can impact the circulation of cool air throughout your home. Ensure that your furniture is positioned away from vents, registers, and radiators. This allows the air to flow freely and circulate effectively, evenly cooling your living spaces.
7. Clean Air, Cool Home: Importance of Filter Changes
Regularly changing the filter on forced air units is a vital aspect of home maintenance. A clean filter enables the efficient functioning of your cooling system, ensuring that it operates smoothly and cools your home effectively. Neglecting filter changes can strain your system and reduce its efficiency.
8. Lighting Upgrades: Saving Energy and Costs
Consider switching to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) to reduce your lighting bill and energy consumption. These energy-efficient, low-wattage CFLs and fixtures can provide adequate lighting while contributing to a more sustainable and cost-effective living space.
Home Maintenance Tips: Preparing Your Home for the Fall Season
It’s time to get your house ready for the next cooler months once October arrives with a crisp breeze. Home maintenance in good shape increases its lifetime and keeps you and your family secure and comfortable throughout the season. Here are some crucial home upkeep suggestions to get your house ready for the changing seasons.
1. Check and Flush Your Hot Water Heater
It’s essential to flush out sediments from your hot water heater and test the pressure relief valve annually. Refer to your manual for specific instructions. A clean and functioning water heater ensures you have access to warm water during the chilly fall months.
2. Schedule a Heating System Inspection
Before the winter season arrives, enlist the help of a heating professional to inspect your heating system. This ensures it operates efficiently and keeps your home warm and cozy when the temperatures drop.
3. Prevent Frozen Pipes
Protect your home maintenance from potential damage due to frozen pipes by adequately insulating them. Pay special attention to pipes in unheated garages and crawl spaces. This simple step can save you from a plumbing disaster.
4. Winterize Your Sprinkler System
Drain in-ground sprinkler systems to prevent freezing and potential damage. Neglecting this can lead to costly repairs come springtime.
5. Chimney and Fireplace Maintenance
Contact a certified chimney sweep to inspect and clean the flues, and check your fireplace damper. A clean chimney ensures safe operation and prevents potential hazards during the colder months.
6. Seal Gaps and Cracks
Check the caulking around doors and windows to reduce heat/cooling loss. Proper insulation can significantly impact your energy bills and overall comfort.
7. Maintain Painted Surfaces
Regularly inspect painted surfaces for any signs of paint failure, water damage, or mildew. Take necessary steps to repair or repaint to maintain the integrity of your home’s exterior.
8. Outdoor Faucet and Pipe Insulation
To prevent damage from freezing temperatures, insulate outdoor faucets and pipes in unheated garages or crawl spaces. This small effort can save you from potential plumbing issues.
9. Remove Bird Nests and Dust
Inspect and remove bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures. Additionally, clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for optimal performance.
FAQs About Home Maintenance
What is a choice home warranty?
A choice home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of major home systems and appliances due to normal wear and tear.
How do I choose the right choice home warranty plan?
Consider your home’s needs and budget. Assess the coverage options provided by different plans to find one that aligns with your requirements.
What home systems and appliances does a choice home warranty typically cover?
A choice home warranty typically covers major systems like HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and essential appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, and washers.
How often should I conduct home maintenance checks?
Regular home maintenance checks should be conducted at least once every three to six months, focusing on different areas of your home.
Can I purchase a choice home warranty for an older home?
Yes, you can purchase a choice home warranty for an older home. It’s a great way to protect yourself from unexpected expenses related to home repairs.
Are there any exclusions in a choice home warranty?
Yes, choice home warranties may have exclusions, such as pre-existing conditions, cosmetic damages, and specific items not covered by the policy.