Being a homeowner comes with many responsibilities and since a home is likely the most expensive purchase you’ll make in your life, it’s imperative that you take good care of that investment.
To do so, there are certain chores and tasks that you need to get into the habit of completing regularly. Otherwise, your household can start to have a variety of problems, such as important systems malfunctioning and different parts of the home deteriorating.
Fortunately, you can avoid these issues if you stick to a consistent home maintenance routine.
Read on for a home maintenance checklist that will help you understand what needs to be done in your home to keep it in tip top shape.
1. Check and Replace Your Air Filters
Unfortunately, many homeowners neglect their household air filters. You should take the time to go over our DIY HVAC maintenance checklist and if any of the air filters you check are packed with contaminants, you should replace them with new, clean ones. Air filters should be replaced once a month. This will keep your indoor air quality clean and allow your appliances to function smoothly and efficiently.
2. Inspect for Air Leaks
Another beneficial home maintenance task is inspecting for air leaks. When air leaks are allowed to linger in your home, they can force your heating and cooling systems to work much harder and use more energy. Plus, they often lead to uneven temperatures around the living space. Typically, these openings will be found around the edges of doorways and windows.
They may be too tiny to find visually, but you can often find them by feeling around with your hand for any moving air. If you find any gaps, you’ll want to seal them tightly with caulking and weather stripping from the hardware store.
3. Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Keeping your household safe should always be a top priority, and regularly testing your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is one way to do so. It only takes a couple of minutes each month to test these devices, but doing so could save your life. If any of the detectors aren’t working or need new batteries, it’s far preferable to find that out before you actually experience a fire or carbon monoxide leak.
4. Clean Your Drains
The drains around your home probably fill up more quickly than you realize. Whether it be hair in the shower drain or food scraps in the kitchen sink drain, the drains in our houses typically get quite a bit of use.
Once per month, it’s a good idea to check how well they’re working. A good way to test their performance is to run hot water for 30 seconds and observe how quickly it drains. If any of the drains in your household are draining slowly, you should use a drain-cleaning tool or natural drain-cleaning product to clear away the clog.
If that doesn’t work, you may need to bring in professional plumbers for a more thorough cleaning.
5. Clean Your Garbage Disposal
Another important chore that gets neglected often is cleaning the garbage disposal. If this doesn’t get done regularly, it can lead to nasty odors, bacteria accumulation, and even poor garbage disposal performance. To thoroughly clean your garbage disposal, simply follow these steps once per month:
- First turn off the power to the disposal and unplug it
- Remove the rubber splash guard and thoroughly clean it
- Clear away any remaining food particles
- Pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda
- Wait for 30 minutes
- Pour in one cup of vinegar
- Wait five minutes
- Thoroughly rinse with hot water
- Allow the garbage disposal to grind two cups of ice and one cup of salt
This process will leave your garbage disposal pristine and running like new every month. Plus, there won’t be any unpleasant smells!
6. Clean Your Air Vents
Whenever your heater or AC unit is running, the air has to pass through one of your household air vents before it can provide comfort. But over time, contaminants like dust, dirt, and small debris tend to accumulate inside those vents. And if the vents aren’t cleaned regularly, those particles can start to restrict the airflow of your HVAC system.
This puts unnecessary strain on the heating and cooling units and often leads to uneven household temperatures.
To avoid these problems, you simply need to regularly clean your air vents. You can remove the cover panel from each vent with a screwdriver, and a vacuum cleaner hose extension should be effective for removing the contaminants.
7. Clean the Dryer Vent and Lint Trap
If you have multiple people living in your home, then your dryer is probably getting used frequently. And whenever your dryer is running, the dryer vent and lint trap are accumulating lint and other debris.
If you don’t make a point to clean these areas regularly, the build-up of these particles can start to cause major problems. For one, the overall performance and efficiency of the dryer can decline sharply. And in some cases, a clogged dryer vent or lint trap could even create the risk of a fire starting.
Cleaning the lint trap is very easy and should only take a minute. The dryer vent will be a slightly more involved process, and you can always hire professionals if it’s not something you’re comfortable doing on your own.
If you make a point to complete all of the tasks on this home maintenance checklist every month, it will go a long way toward keeping your household running smoothly. The simplest way to achieve this may be to set aside a couple of days at the same time each month to get everything done.
Granted, there are other home maintenance tasks that need to be done once or twice a year, such as roof inspections, cleaning the gutters, flushing the water heater, and many more. These chores are also very important for the functionality, comfort, and safety of your home.
This may seem daunting to new homeowners, but once you establish good habits, it becomes second nature. Plus, it’s extremely rewarding when you know you’ve put in the work to keep your house in superb shape.