There is a lot of truth to the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true when it comes to caring for your home. Just as routine car maintenance keeps your vehicle from breaking down, regular home maintenance can save you from having to pay for expensive emergency problems down the road. In the long run, routine maintenance also saves you time and energy from dealing with urgent emergencies that come on without warning.
Unlike a car, homes do not come with a user manual, so we have created one for you to support you in keeping your home healthy. In addition to the information on this page, we created a PDF checklist that includes a monthly, quarterly, biannual, and seasonal maintenance schedule. To download the FREE checklist for your home, fill out this form.
Monthly Home Maintenance
- Inspect, and possibly change out HVAC filters– Although the recommendation to change filters is monthly, you may not need to if you have a smaller family without animals. Here is an easy rule of thumb – if the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.
- Clean kitchen sink disposal– You can find a bunch of ways do this online. For a handy link for steps on how to clean your garbage disposal, eliminate odors, and maintain disposal health, click here.
- Clean range hood filters– This maintenance job is important but also gets overlooked. To see a quick video showing you how to clean your greasy range hood filters, click here.
- Inspect your fire extinguisher(s)– While using a fire extinguisher can be simple, there is no use for that knowledge if your extinguisher isn’t working. A monthly inspection is quick and worth the time investment if it means keeping your family prepared. To read about how to perform a monthly fire extinguisher inspection, click here.
- Test ground fault circuit (GFI) interrupters– These specialized outlets are created to stop you or others in your home from getting shocked. It is important to make sure they are working correctly to safe-guard your family. For a quick overview on how to test your outlets, click here.
Quarterly Home Maintenance
- Test smoke/carbon dioxide detectors– This is a simple process, usually only requiring the push of a button. For instructions on how to test your detectors.
- Test garage door auto-reverse feature– In 1993, federal law required all garage doors to have this feature after multiple child deaths. Test by placing a 2×4 on the ground where the door would close. It should reverse after the door hits the wood. Make sure to also test the photo-electric sensors, if you have them, by placing something in front of them (not your body). If the door doesn’t immediately go back up for both tests, there is a problem with your garage door that needs to be fixed.
- Check water softener– This is another simple maintenance step. If salt is needed, add it. Otherwise, wait until the next quarter (or month depending on the amount of salt in the tank) and check again.
Biannual Home Maintenance
- Test your water heater’s pressure relief valve– Check to make sure this safety feature is working properly. Testing the pressure valve will also prevent mineral and corrosion from building up. To watch a helpful video describing all about water heaters, the importance of this test, and how to perform it, click here. If you are considering switching to a tank-less water heater, this article explains 4 keys benefits of making the switch. Click here.
- Replace batteries in smoke/carbon dioxide detectors– With something as important as this, you can’t be too careful, and batteries won’t break your bank. To be on the safe side, change them out every 6 months.
- Vacuum your refrigerator coils– Your fridge can use up to 15 percent of your home’s total power, so obviously you want it running as efficiently as possible. keeping the coils clean can save up to $100 a year.
Annual Home Maintenance (by Season)
Spring Home Maintenance
- Check the exterior drainage– Specifically, will rain water flow away from the house? Puddles should not stand around your home for more than 24 hours. If water stays, or moves toward your foundation, your drainage system needs an update. For a quick how to on draining water away from your home, click here.
- Inspect the exterior of your home– Do you see any paint chipping? Any damaged siding or any holes in your brick? Look all around your house and make any repairs as needed. Don’t forget to check the foundation for any cracks.
- Get your air conditioning system ready for summer– It’s time for your annual comprehensive A/C check-up. This service should be completed by a professional. It is an inexpensive service that will save money and headaches in the future. Call Accurate to make your appointment today.
- Repair/replace damaged window screens– It’s basic, screens help keep bugs out of your home. Repairing and/or replacing screens is quick and easy.
- Check trees for interference with electric lines– If you see any areas of concern, contact a professional to trim your trees.
- Inspect roofing for damage, leaks, etc.– You have already checked your exterior drainage, now it is time to make sure the water gets there and not into your home.
Summer Home Maintenance
- Check grout in bathrooms, kitchen, etc.– Make any repairs that are needed. This prolongs the life of your tiled surfaces and gives the look a face-lift.
- Inspect your plumbing system– When it comes to plumbing, small concerns can lead to big, expensive issues. Regular maintenance is your first line of defense when it comes to massive plumbing problems. Call Accurate to make your appointment today.
- Take care of insect problems– Insects love the summer. To learn 7 ways to pest proof your house in 15 minutes, click here.
- Clean and repair deck/patio– Usually this is just a good cleaning but it is important to check for any loose boards or posts and determine if you will need to re-stain.
- Check and clean dryer vent (and other exhaust vents)– Make sure that there are no blockages halting the outflow of air. While the dryer is running, check that the exhaust is exiting properly. If you suspect a blockage, cleaning out your dryer vent is important. For steps to clean out your dryer vent, click here.
- Clean and check your garage– Often, a garage is used as a storage area and is neglected of regular care. Keeping your garage clean and tidy will extend its life. While cleaning, it is important to look for structure damage.
Fall Home Maintenance
- Flush hot water heater– This process removes sediment and prolongs the life of the heater. It will also make it more efficient. For a step-by-step on how to flush your hot water heater, click here. If you would like professional help, call Accurate to schedule your appointment.
- Winterize air conditioning systems– This process varies depending on your type of units and your location. In general, remove and store window units and if you have central air, cover the outside unit with a tarp or plastic sheeting.
- Get heating system ready for winter– Get ready for cold weather by checking for leaks in windows or doors and ensuring heating vents are open and un-blocked. Your furnace should receive an annual comprehensive check-up to safeguard your home. If you have a fireplace, it is also important to have it and your chimney cleaned. Call Accurate to make your annual furnace appointment today.
- Test sump pump– This simple check will provide reassurance that your sump pump is working properly. Check your sump pump company’s website for info on how to test yours.
- Check driveway/pavement for cracks– Again, this is especially important in below freezing temps. If needed, re-seal before winter to avoid water from freezing and expanding in the cracks.
Winter Home Maintenance
- Check your electric system– This is a job to be completed by professionals. To read just a few of the reasons regular electric maintenance is important, click here. Call Accurate to make your appointment today.
- Deep clean and inspect the basement– Like garages, basements are often overlooked and/or forgotten. A simple clean and inspection for mold, foundation cracks, etc. can prevent larger issues.
To simplify your electric, plumbing, heating and air annual comprehensive check-ups, we have created the Accurate Advantage Plan. For under $10/month all of your comprehensive check-ups will be covered, not to mention the discounts and other benefits that are included. Click here to learn more.