The House Maintenance Checklist that Saves You Money
Regular home maintenance is part of being a homeowner. But knowing what to check for — and when — can help you save money in the long run for both indoor and outdoor maintenance.
Here's a break down on what to include in your house maintenance checklist.
High use areas require more work. This is where the monthly maintenance checklist comes in. Below is a checklist of indoor items to go over each month:
- Test smoke detectors and check fire extinguishers to ensure they're charged.
- Clean out your garbage disposal
- If you leave your windows open during certain times of the year, you'll need to check your HVAC filter more often as more dust will get into the home.
- Dust areas that are higher up such as ceiling corners, fans, windows, and door trims.
- Clean faucet aerators and shower heads to remove mineral deposits.
- Test ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).
Depending on the time of year, you'll also want to do regular maintenance outside as well. This may include mowing the lawn during the summer (or rainy season where you live). Keep in mind, if you wait too long between mows, it can be harmful to the grass. Be sure to also clean out your gutters during the fall.
Quarterly maintenance is for areas that may not have as much exposure or use, and therefore don't require as much maintenance. Depending on how often you open your windows, the seals and ledges that windows slide across accumulate dust, bugs, and other debris. Vacuum and wipe these areas to keep away dust.
Check all plumbing for any signs of leaks. Checking these quarterly may seem a little excessive but water can quickly damage wood and become costly quickly. A great addition is small leak detectors that you place in different areas. If water touches these devices, they'll send a notification to your phone. Another area to check is your washing machine hose connection and areas around your dishwasher. Both make extensive use of water. Any leak from these appliances will be excessive and can cause damage at an accelerated pace.
Annual maintenance helps cover what might have been missed in monthly or quarterly checkups. Below is a list of what to expect each year for your home's maintenance:
- Change smoke detector and carbon monoxide batteries.
- Consider having an insect/pest inspection. This will probably cost at least $400. If you've never had one, it's certainly worth getting a professional to do it. If you have consistent pest issues, consider a monthly contract, which can start around $10 per month.
- Vacuum your refrigerator coils. Dust can accumulate on the coils and can cause the refrigerator to consume more energy. Additionally, the strain on your refrigerator can shorten its life.
- Check your roof and attic for any damage and leaks. You may even want to consider doing this after heavy storms. Any leak that goes unnoticed can cause considerable damage in a short amount of time. Additionally, mold can form, which can run thousands of dollars to remove and repair.
It may sound like a lot, but getting into the habit of a house maintenance checklist will help to keep everything running smoothly and save you a bundle of money in the long run.