5 Annual Tasks to Keep Your Home in Tiptop Shape

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Home maintenance is an important part of homeownership. Caring for your home isn’t just about maintaining its appearance. Maintaining your home can increase your home’s value, save you money on energy costs, and ensure that all areas of your home are safe. Here are five home maintenance tasks you should be doing every year.

Check Your Lighting Fixtures

Check your lighting fixtures for broken or burned out bulbs. Broken bulbs in your interior fixtures can create dark spots that are unsafe, especially those over stairs and doorways. Non-working landscaping lights can create spaces where intruders could lurk. Additionally, make sure the lights around any steps and entryways are kept in working order. To save money on your electricity bill, consider switching to CFL bulbs.

Inspect and Clean Appliances

To avoid costly repairs, inspect all appliances that have attached water lines or hoses. Refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines should be inspected yearly for water leaks. Have a professional fix or replace worn hoses. Some appliances benefit from yearly cleaning.  Cleaning lint-build up from your dryer vents helps your dryer work better and decreases the likelihood of a fire. Vacuuming the coils on the back of your refrigerator helps it run more efficiently and saves you money.

Control Pests

Termites can destroy the wood in your home and decrease its value. Check your home yearly for signs of termite activity. If you live in an area where termites are common, you should have a company spray your home yearly to prevent infestation. A second major pest is mice. Mice infestations are unsanitary and often require extensive cleaning and repairs. You can keep mice out of your home by eliminating spaces they use to get inside. Gaps under garage doors and around pipes are open doors for mice. Close the gaps and keep them out.

Maintain Your HVAC 

The HVAC in your home should be inspected yearly by a professional. Properly maintained HVAC systems keep your home more comfortable and run more efficiently. Higher efficiency translates into lower energy bills. Your HVAC system will last longer if it is maintained regularly.  Working with a professional to care for your HVAC will keep your home more consistently comfortable and save money.

Check Your Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers

Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers

Image via Flickr by Your Best Digs.

To keep your family safe, it is critical to make sure your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are in good working order. Run a yearly test on your smoke detectors to ensure they are working and change the batteries. In addition to smoke detectors, all homes should have at least one working fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers have expiration dates. If your fire extinguisher is past its expiration date, get a new one.

Yearly maintenance is vitally important to the health and safety of your home. Put yearly maintenance tasks on your calendar so you can’t forget them. The effort you put into maintenance will return to you in higher property values, better safety, and lower energy bills.

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