Preventive home maintenance will save you money and time in the long run. Review our tips for year-round home maintenance.
GUTTERS Clogged gutters may result in water seeping into the roof, causing rot and leaks. Water pouring over the gutters or through leaks can end up next to your home's foundation, in the basement or crawlspace.
WINDOWS AND DOORS
If cool air is entering your home through the bottom of your door, replace the weather stripping and door sweeps. This can save around 1/3 of your average annual heating and cooling costs. Caulk drafty windows.
Have your furnace, heating system and insulation serviced professionally and regularly to ensure they run efficiently. Programmable thermostats can reduce energy bills by $100 or more each year.
FIREPLACE AND CHIMNEY
Reduce fire hazards by hiring professionals to check and clean your chimney. Be sure to have them check that the damper closes tightly to prevent drafts.
Winterizing a pool keeps it chemically balanced through the cold months. Keep the temperature below 65 degrees to keep algae from growing.
PLUMBING AND PIPES
Insulate pipes or use heat tape or a thermostatically-controlled heat cable to prevent pipe bursts.
SECURE DRYER VENTS AND AIR INTAKES
While it is a good idea for any air intake to be covered with a wire or mesh barrier year round, animals may take advantage of any openings more aggressively once winter sets in.
Furnace filters keep excess dust and particles from circulating and help your furnace operate more efficiently. Some furnaces have metal filters that can be cleaned by rinsing them or vacuuming them out. Others are disposable and need to be thrown out and replaced.
CHECK ATTIC FOR INSULATION
Have you ever checked to see if your attic is adequately insulated? If not, check out this article on how to determine how much insulation is necessary for your region.
ROOF SHINGLES AND CHIMNEY
Snow, ice, freezing and thawing can damage roof shingles, causing them to buckle or loosen. Missing or damaged shingles should be replaced by a qualified roofer to prevent further water damage. Ask your roofer if he or she is qualified to inspect your chimney for cracks to fill/repair them as needed.
FIX CONCRETE CRACKS
Cracks in concrete driveways and pool decks can worsen over time. Power-wash the area then seal with crack filler or silicone caulk.
SERVICE AC UNITS
A qualified HVAC technician can clean the system to help it operate more efficiently. You should also prune nearby plants that could block airflow.
Touching up cracked or peeling paint protects it from the elements. While inspecting outer walls for paint needs, also check for water damage or openings that developed over the winter, and ask a licensed contractor to repair them.
Remove and clean the filters. If you have central air-conditioning, consider using a professional service.
Check your smoke detectors. Replace the batteries it necessary.
Easily do this yourself with adding a layer of mulch to your lawn. This will help keep weeds down and allows the soil to retain its moisture when the summer beats down on it.
Give your deck or patio a good washing and a re-stain. Check for any loose or broken posts and nails. People are more likely to walk barefoot in the summertime.
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