How often do you think about the maintenance needed to keep your home and appliances running and in good shape? If you are like most busy homeowners, myself included, probably not often enough. Here are a few tips to keep things running smoothly and keep on top of maintenance chores.
Roof: Clean all debris out of the gutters . Check for missing or damaged shingles. Cut all tree limbs away or back from the roof to prevent damage.
Structure: Check to make sure there are no areas around the foundation that are holding or “ponding” water. Make sure downspouts extend out of flowerbeds and away from the foundation. Are there any exterior cracks or siding damage that need attention?
Air Conditioning System maintenance: To ensure the most efficient operation, check filters monthly. Remove debris from overflow pans and around outside condensers.
Heating System maintenance: Visually inspect the exhaust vents for rust, damage or deterioration.
Electrical System maintenance: To prevent over-loading your circuits, make sure there are not too many appliances plugged into one circuit. To help avoid electrical fires, limit use of extension cords.
Smoke Detectors: Check and test quarterly. Replace all batteries and backup batteries yearly.
Fireplaces: Have the flu and inserts cleaned to prevent creosote build-up if used often. Make sure the chimney cap is secured w/o holes.
Plumbing System maintenance: Check for leaks under cabinets and “running” toilets. Toilet paper should be the only paper product flushed down a toilet but some septic sytems may need more maintenance and pumping. Clean out all faucet aerators. Address any sluggish drains and clean out clogs.
Washer maintenance: Make sure your machine is level to prevent uneven wearing of parts. To adjust, turn the legs clockwise to lower them or counter-clockwise to raise them.
Dryer maintenance: Clean the lint screen after each load to prevent buildup. Clean out the inside dryer vents and outside dryer caps.
Water Heater maintenance: Drain and flush sediment from the tank twice a year.
Range/Oven maintenance: If you have a self-clean oven, run it twice yearly or more frequently if needed. Make sure all seals are in good repair and all elements are working.
Refrigerator maintenance: Wipe down the interior shelves, and shell every three months. Check gaskets for cold air loss.
Garbage Disposal maintenance: To clean, run a full tray of ice cubes through it with cold water. You can also add lemon/lime slices or baking soda to help with any odors.
These are just a few suggestions offered for your home systems and appliances. If you do not feel comfortable in safely and properly attempting any of the above mentioned, just call a qualified professional. Proper maintenance goes a long way in extending the life of your systems and preventing major expenses down the road.