Beyond basic house cleaning chores or even seasonal deep cleaning tasks, there are many things that homeowners have to keep track of to maintain their homes. Filters have to be checked and replaced, gutters have to be cleaned out, smoke detectors need testing, and that’s only the start. Your home is full of systems all working to keep you comfortable and we will share with you a simple way to streamline home maintenance all year round.
While that may seem overwhelming to someone who has just bought their first home, experienced homeowners know that there is a very simple way to streamline this process: keep a home maintenance calendar. Setting up your calendar can be done in just an afternoon, and it saves you a lifetime of trying to remember when things were done, or if they’ve ever been done. On your next weekend or night in, make a list of your monthly, quarterly, and yearly home maintenance tasks, and set a few reminders on your phone or email calendar.
The good news is that there aren’t many tasks that have to be done every single month to maintain your home.
Most manufacturers recommend changing filters in your HVAC system every month. If you have a water filter in your refrigerator or on your sink, that’s another system you’ll have to keep an eye on. Most of the time, you can simply check the filter, and leave it alone if it’s not dirty enough to be tossed till the next month.
Clean your sink drains to keep away odors. Your garbage disposal should be cleaned and sharpened monthly with a handful of ice cubes and a bit of vinegar.
One of the most important home maintenance chores to remember is the smoke detector check, which should happen every three months. This is also a good time to check your water softener, adding salt if needed, and to give your guest bathroom’s toilet a flush and shower a quick run, just to ensure that no water is built up in the pipes.
You may also want to use this time to test your appliances, to be sure they are running at optimal settings. For example, if your refrigerator coils are dirty, it causes your refrigerator to use more energy. By vacuuming the coils two to four times per year, you can reduce your energy bill.
Typically, yearly maintenance is not done all in one go, but rather spread out during different seasons. You’ll probably have “annual spring maintenance tasks” and “annual fall maintenance tasks”, to get your home prepared for the two most extreme seasons before they hit.
In the spring, you need to be sure that the exterior of your home is draining water properly. Clean gutters and check all the spouts and connections. You may need to grade or add gravel to spots where water puddles. This is also a good time to have your air conditioner serviced, to check the siding or exterior material of your home for chipping and cracks, and to check that all your window screens are secure and free from holes. If you have trees on your property, check to see if they are in need of a trim to keep them away from power lines, and clear away any other dead plants from your home.
In the fall, you’ll have plenty of winterization that needs to be done. Flush your outdoor water faucets, get your chimney cleaned, store any window air conditioning units, and be sure all your heating vents are cleaned and not blocked. This is also a good time to check that your driveway doesn’t have cracks, and to double check your supplies like shovels and sidewalk salt.
These lists are only suggestions; you’ll probably have your list of tasks that must be done throughout the year to maintain your home. By getting your calendar notifications set up in advance, you can make home maintenance as easy as your daily chores.
We hope you found our article “Simple Way to Streamline Home Maintenance” helpful. If you have any other tips to share, please leave us a comment.