Guest Post: This Old House
You’ve just bought the house of your dreams? Congratulations! Now’s the time to make a plan to take care of your investment. As a busy home inspection company, we have seen plenty of houses, and we know firsthand the benefits of effective home maintenance, as well as the dangers of neglecting it. Here are a few tasks that will keep your home at its best.
CHECK HVAC FILTERS
Take a look regularly at your heating or air conditioning filter. You may want to change it every month, especially if you have pets whose hair may accumulate quickly to clog the filters. Family members who suffer from allergies will also benefit from regular filter changes. A fresh filter not only keeps your air cleaner, it helps your HVAC system run more efficiently.
DRAIN WATER HEATER
Sediment that builds up in your water heater makes it less efficient and leads to corrosion that will require you to replace it. It’s a good idea to drain the tank every 1-2 years to flush out that sediment. Here’s a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process.
VACUUM REFRIGERATOR COILS
Did you know that refrigerators are the second largest user of electricity in most homes? On average, they use 13.7% of the electricity, right behind air conditioners, which use a little over 14%. To keep yours at its most efficient, clean the dust from its coils once or twice a year. Simply locate the coils (usually on the back or underneath the refrigerator), and vacuum with the angled attachment on the vacuum hose.
CLEAN THE DRYER VENT
This is one chore that is frequently overlooked, which not only makes dryers work poorly, but it can also be dangerous. Lint buildup is a major cause of house fires. Fortunately, you can keep your dryer working its best and reduce your risk of fire by following a few simple steps to keep your dryer vent clean.
CLEAN GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS
Clearing leaves and debris from your gutters and downspouts not only helps rainwater drain away from your foundation efficiently, but it can also help prevent ice dams from forming during the winter. Ice dams can damage gutters and roofs, so it’s worth the time to clean gutters out twice a year. Here’s a tutorial to take you through the process.
WEATHERSTRIP DOORS AND WINDOWS
Gaps around windows and doors are a major drain on heating and cooling. If you can see any light around the door or window, you are losing expensive heat or air conditioning. Weatherstripping is a simple way to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Here’s a video to walk you through the process.
A few simple plumbing skills will help you prevent costly disasters. Here are some plumbing jobs that you can do yourself.
TEST SMOKE/CARBON DIOXIDE DETECTORS AND REPLACE BATTERIES
If safety isn’t compelling enough, here’s an excellent reason to replace those batteries twice a year: if the detector gets low on power, it will probably start beeping. Somehow, that beeping always seems to start in the middle of the night. It’s so much better to keep it functioning on a regular, twice yearly schedule. You’ll sleep easier in more ways than one.
PATCH HOLES IN THE WALL
Inevitably, you will end up with a hole in the drywall at some point. Whether you’re repairing the wall after a home improvement project or a door handle accidentally hit the wall too hard, patching holes is a good skill to have. It’s actually a pretty simple process, once you know how.
Your dream home will stay safe and snug with some basic maintenance. If we can help with any of your home inspection needs, contact us at FXC Inspections.