It’s exciting to find that perfect house for your family. You have the freedom to plant a garden, paint your dining room any color you want, or install a fence in the backyard. As freeing as homeownership is, you still need to keep an eye on your home and check it regularly to make sure you’re saving money in the long run.
Follow these tips to make sure you’re protecting your investment and you’re keeping your house in tip-top shape.
1. Check your heating and cooling systems
Heating and cooling systems are major home appliances and replacing them can be very expensive. A smart homeowner will have them checked on an annual basis to keep them operating efficiently and to extend their lifespan.
Although they share some of the same components, your heating and cooling should be checked separately about 6 months apart, HVAC in the spring and your furnace in the fall. Each system should be checked close to the time it will be used. When inspecting the cooling system, experts look for things such as leaks, corrosion, and dust build-up in the air filters and condensing coils. Left unchecked, your air conditioner can lose efficiency at a rate of about 5% per year, costing you more to cool your home as time goes on.
Experts will check several factors that could make your furnace inefficient. They check the exhaust levels, burners, heat exchangers, and they make sure the fuel lines are clear and connected securely.
2. Basic indoor checklist
We see the inside of our homes every day. We casually walk by a drafty door or a loose door knob. These little things that need to be repaired can add up!
At least once a year, inspect the inside of your home for signs of wear and tear. Set aside a few days to make the minor repairs and hire a professional if you need help with the rest. Check each room in your home for signs of water leakage, nails that are popping out the walls, and drippy faucets. Prevent these minor problems from becoming BIG ones!
Some specific areas to check might be the garage, bathrooms, and the attic. For a full list, see our indoor checklist.
3. Basic outside checklist
It’s important to check the outside of your home at least annually to keep small problems from escalating into large, expensive problems. A winter snowstorm or spring thunderstorm can cause issues that you might not see unless you make a point to check the perimeter of your home.
Once the weather warms up, spring is usually a great time to walk around to see any damage that occurred during the winter. Consider looking for problems with fencing, the roof, and issues with your foundation.
4. Deep clean your home
We know that cleaning your home is a daily task. Between cleaning kitchen counters, showers, and dirty floors on a regular basis, it can be hard to find time to clean all those hard to reach places (and let’s be real—some of the places we forget about). Um, hello dusty refrigerator coils in the back!
At least once per year, clean the dirt and grime behind appliances like your refrigerator, washer and dryer, and under big pieces of furniture like buffets and beds. While you’re cleaning behind your appliances, don’t forget to check the electrical connections and look for signs of wear and tear that need to be fixed.
It’s important to take the time to manage both the inside and the outside of your home and make necessary repairs. By setting aside time to go through this list every year you’ll not only preserve your home’s value but will keep you from future headaches and wasted money.