A house is perhaps the most expensive investment a regular person will ever make in his or her entire life. But the thing is, once you’ve already closed the deal and the keys have been handed to you, that’s not the end but only the beginning of a lifetime of maintenance and upkeep. And let me tell you, it ain’t cheap.
So as much as possible, preventive maintenance helps lower the cost of maintaining a house. Instead of fixing things when they’re at their worst, get to them before things go bad. Sometimes, repairs can cost as much, if not more, than a kitchen renovation, one of the most expensive remodeling projects in a home.
Here are some home maintenance tasks that you can do by yourself. If you’re a new homeowner, these will help you keep the cost of upkeep low.
Install ceiling fans.
Ceiling fans are a great way to save up on heating and cooling expenses, especially on the upper floors, where heat tends to gather near the ceiling. Just make sure you install energy-efficient fans if you want to bring down your energy consumption.
Reverse them when needed.
The good thing about ceiling fans is its tilted blades, when turned in the opposite direction, can pull hot air up away from you. This is especially helpful during hot and humid seasons.
Caulk doors and windows.
Caulks are great at sealing cracks and small gaps on walls, but they’re also used on doors and windows to prevent drafts. This helps keep your home at a comfortable temperature throughout the year. It is an inexpensive insulation substitute for weatherstripping, so you might want to keep this in mind.
Use expanding foam filler to fill in some larger wall gaps.
For filling in larger gaps where caulk can no longer do the job, use expanding foam fillers instead. This is a terrific sealer for gaps that are about at least half an inch wide.
Seal your HVAC ducts.
While we’re on the topic of sealing, make sure that you inspect your HVAC ducts for any holes and cracks and seal them. Many homes lose about 20% of their air conditioning due to leaks in the HVAC ducts.
Change your HVAC filters regularly.
Since we’re talking about HVACs, it is wise to regularly clean and change your HVAC filters. Clean filters make your HVAC system more efficient and will cost you a lot less on your monthly bills.
Clean the coils of your fridge.
Clean fridge coils make the cold and heat exchange a lot more efficient so never forget to do this once a month. It only takes five minutes to do but saves you a lot of money in the long run.
Flush and clean water heaters periodically.
No matter how clean your water is, sediment build-up is inevitable, so you need to periodically flush out your heater and clean it once or twice a year. This helps you avoid a bigger repair bill on your heater. Take extra caution when doing this because you will be dealing with hot water with this task.
The same thing applies to your humidifier.
Similarly, if you want to have great quality air in and around your home, you need to clean your humidifier once or twice a year. It’s not rocket science. You can do this on your own. If you’re not sure how to go about it, you can always look it up online.
Give your gutters and downspouts a good cleaning now and then.
This is one job that most people don’t look forward to but still needs to be done. Giving your gutter and downspouts a good cleaning will prevent water from overflowing and seeping into your wall and foundation. You may also install an extension for your downspout and point it away from your foundation.
Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Your safety and that of your family is paramount. If the home you bought doesn’t have any smoke detectors, make sure to have some installed immediately. And then regularly check and replace batteries. Even if the batteries don’t need replacing, it is recommended to change them with fresh ones twice a year.
Regularly check your fire extinguisher’s gauge.
A fire is disastrous and tragic, so you need to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from fire. Get some fire extinguishers and place them in easily accessible places throughout your home. Ensure that you maintain them regularly because unless they are in great working condition, they would be useless to you.
Owning a house is a great privilege that has equally great responsibilities. Protect your investment by keeping your home in great condition as much as possible.