A monthly check-up of your home using this list of simple tasks is a smart way to maintain your home. Regularly checking in on these items may help mitigate expensive emergencies by catching issues early on. Additionally, making sure your home's mechanics are running smoothly will extend their life and reduce costs of repairs and replacements.
Check the furnace filter
The filter is a vital component of furnaces and heat pumps. A dirty filter puts added stressors to your system requiring them to work harder to move air. It will also make your home accumulate more DUST! Pull out the filter and clear any dust or other debris clogging the screen, or replace it if necessary. You’ll enjoy better air quality and lower energy costs.
Check the range hood filter
The exhaust vent in your range hood has a filter to catch grease. To keep it working properly, clean it regularly. Remove it and scrub in the sink with hot water and grease-cutting dishwashing liquid. Let it dry and put it back in place.
Check that water is draining freely in all sink, shower, and tub drains. If it backs up, unclog it with boiling water, or baking soda and vinegar, or a drain snake. Be sure not to mix drain cleaner and home remedies, as some chemicals may have adverse reactions. In bath sinks, sometimes it may be necessary to remove the drain stopper to clear hair that may accumulate.
Clean garbage disposal
To prevent odors and other problems, pour a half cup of baking soda into the disposal, then slowly add a half cup of vinegar. Or drop in ice cubes, grind them, and follow with a half cup of baking soda and boiling water.
Check for leaks around sinks and toilets
Look further into any sign of water, even a few drops. A leak only gets worse over time, so the sooner you catch it, the smaller the simpler and less costly the repair.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors
Smoke alarms and CO detectors should have a test button. If you don’t see one, check online with the manufacturer to learn how to test your detector. You may even be able to test smart detectors from your phone. Changing the batteries every year is a good habit.
Check fire extinguishers
Make sure they’re easily accessible and aren’t damaged. If they’re old, dented, or show low pressure, it’s time to replace them.
Examine all electrical cords
Check for damage to the wire’s insulation, especially near the plug, a common area for wear. Repair any problem areas with electrical tape and make a plan to replace the cord as soon as possible.
Check the house exterior
Walk around your home, checking the roof, siding, windows, doors, and foundation for any damage. Take note of any standing water close by, as that can be an indication of leaks or other problems.
Check your air conditioner
Look for leaks around the copper lines that connect to the indoor evaporator coil. If you find any, it’s time to call an HVAC professional.
Clear the outdoor dryer vent
Make sure the opening is free of lint and debris build-up.
Credit: Dawn James, Dawn James Group, Caliber Home loans