New Year, New Home: Good Homeowner Habits to Start
December 14, 2018
If you’re making resolutions this year, why not try to be a better homeowner? It’s probably your biggest investment, so it makes sense to care for it. These home maintenance tips can save you thousands of dollars and provide you with safety and peace of mind, at least when it comes to your house. Homeowners and tenants often don’t know what home maintenance consists of. 2019 is the time to change all of that. Let’s greet the new year with new habits to make our home safe, energy-efficient, and beautiful.
Good Homeowner Habits for 2019 and Beyond
1. Keep Filters Clean
We have always reminded you that clean air filters improve indoor air quality and HVAC performance. It’s the best thing a homeowner can do to maintain their heating and cooling system.
Set a reminder to check your air filter every 30 days. Replace it when it looks dirty. Don’t wait more than 90 days to change or clean the filter. Mak
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2. Schedule professional tree assessment from an arborist
If you have large trees on your property, it’s important to get them inspected at least once a year by a certified arborist. They have the training to spot things like disease, insect damage, weak branch structure, and other general damage that can quickly escalate.
You have the responsibility to take care of your trees to prevent danger to you, your home, or your neighbors.
3. Store yard equipment properly
Whether you are storing lawn mowers or snow blowers, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Drain any fuel and give it a good cleaning at the end of the season.
4. Clean out AC drain line (every 2-3 months)
As warm air flows over cold evaporator coils, condensation collects on the coils and drips down into a drain pan where it flows through a small drain pipe outdoors. Algae, mold, and debris can build up in the drain line and make it difficult for condensate to drain freely.
If your drainage line gets clogged, you could end up with a puddle of water by your indoor air handler. A clogged drainage line might also prevent your unit from running.
Prevent drain line clogs by pouring a cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain line ever 2-3 months.
If your drain line is already clogged, you may need to use a shop vac or special pump to clear it. Contact a professional HVAC technician for more information.
5. Inspect the roof
Once a year, head out on the roof to do a little visual inspection. If you can’t access your roof or if it isn’t safe, use a pair of binoculars.
Look for the following warning signs:
- Loose, broken, curling, or missing shingles
- Shingles are covered in moss or algae
- Damaged or cracked rubber boots around vent pipes
- Cracked caulk or damaged sealant around chimneys and other openings around vents
- Damaged chimney or chimney cap
- Granules in the gutter
- Sagging spots
- Ceiling water stain or sunlight from your attic
6. Clean the gutters
The gutter system is very important. It diverts water away from the home to prevent flooding and moisture damage. When gutters get clogged, water can flow over and run down your siding, eventually making its way into the house.
At least twice a year, get a ladder and some gloves and clean your gutters. While your cleaning, look for any damage, such as gaps, cracks, and water damage marks.
If you clean the gutters yourself, review ladder safety before making the attempt. You can also contact a local gutter cleaner.
7. Inspect the outside of your home
It’s a good idea to walk around your home every once in a while. Be on the lookout for any signs of trouble, such as:
- Pooling water, which can indicate drainage or soil problems
- Cracks in the foundation
- Deteriorating siding
- Rotting or termite damage
- Cracks in the concrete
- Peeling or chipping exterior paint
- Grass clippings and debris around outdoor HVAC unit
While you are outside, make sure your windows are sealed properly. Seal up cracks and gaps around your home wherever you find them. If you suspect an area is rotted, poke it softly with a screwdriver. Check your sprinkler system every month or so.
8. Basic pest prevention
Cockroaches and other pests (alive or dead) can cause asthma and allergy symptoms year-round. They like food, water, and warmth.
To prevent pests, clean all food crumbs and spilled food right away. Store food in tightly sealed containers. Cover trash cans. Keep mulch and any wood at least 3 feet away from your home and any structures. Fix any moisture and drainage problems as soon as you can.
9. Only flush toilet paper and human waste
Even if a product says it is “flushable,” don’t risk it. The best way to maintain your toilet and septic system is by never flushing anything other than toilet paper and human waste.
10. Inspect for leaks and other plumbing maintenance
Many homes have plumbing leaks that go completely unnoticed. One of the main culprits is the toilet.
Learn winter plumbing maintenance tips and how to prevent and thaw frozen pipes. Before any large gathering at your house, go over these plumbing prevention tips.
Sign up for a home maintenance plan
In addition to regular DIY home maintenance, you want to make sure you schedule annual professional inspections for your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.
Don’t forget to schedule a chimney and fireplace inspection every year. Schedule chimney cleanings as necessary depending on how often you use your fireplace.
If you’re in the Denver area, sign up for the Green Club for just $29.95 a month. This includes annual precision tune-ups, 25% discount on repairs, and much more.
We look forward to working with you in the New Year. Have a wonderful celebration, and enjoy this time with friends and family!
For the best home inspections, repairs, and replacements, contact the experts at Fix-It 24/7, conveniently located in Denver, CO.
Fix-It 24/7 Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric provides professional home services for Boulder and the entire Denver Metro Area. Call us now at (303) 214-0277 or schedule service online.
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