Like a car, your home needs a regular tuneup. Heating systems need maintenance, chimneys need sweeping and windows need caulking. Keep on top of the hefty to-do list, and the chores become a routine you dutifully follow every year.
Even experienced homeowners, can fall behind. With such an unusually warm fall that we hadMs. Levy, an associate broker with Halstead, forgot to schedule an appointment to have her boiler serviced before she expects to turn it on. Now the maintenance company is booked until late November. “So I screwed up there,” she said.
Neglect the chores entirely, and you could find yourself with a hefty repair bill or a furnace that goes out on a cold January night — and probably in the middle of a long weekend, because isn’t that when things usually go wrong? Forget to clean the gutters, and ice could build up, and damage your roof. Drafty windows and doors could send your heating bill soaring.
So, let go through it.
- BrightNest.com – get your self an app!
If keeping track of all of the things you really should do around the house is a pain for you, BrightNest is a free web service that can help you keep track of it, complete with reminders for when your regular maintenance needs to be done. The service can even keep track of your product manuals, paint colors, and more.
Brightnest is totally free, and does a great job of collecting all of your home maintenance and repair information in one place where you’ll be reminded to actually do it, instead of forget about it until something breaks.
In addition it provides you tips and tricks tailored specifically for you.
- Schedule Appliance Repair & Maintenance Service – CenterPoint Energy
Why is appliance maintenance important? It helps to avoid breakdowns, regular maintenance keeps appliances energy efficient and extends the lifespan of heating and cooling equipment. Appliance maintenance services also help avoid potentially dangerous situations, such as a furnace breaking down during extremely cold weather.
If you have a plan from CenterPoint Energy, great, if not, consider it – Home Service Plus Plans.
- Check the exterior
Start by giving the outside of your house a checkup. Walk around the perimeter and look for cracks in the siding or peeling paint. Are the windowsills (bottom part, ledge of a window) in good condition? Check the roof for missing or broken tiles. Fix problems while the days are still relatively warm. After a rain, walk around the house and look for any signs that water might not be draining properly, like pooling water or damaged gutters or downspouts. The objective is to get as much of the water away from your house as possible.
- The gutters
Of all the fall chores, cleaning the gutters and downspouts is among the most critical. Your gutters direct water away from your roof and siding, and down into the drainage system. Clogged gutters can cause your roof to leak and lead to ice dams in cold weather. So clean them or hire someone to do the job after the leaves fall. When the gutters aren’t kept clean, the moisture just sits on the rooftop.
Just don’t do the work too soon. Clean the gutters before the last of the leaves fall, and you could find yourself back up on that ladder a few weeks later.
- Windows and doors
Swap out screens for storm doors and windows. It’s something that people should automatically do when it starts getting cold out. While you’re changing out the screens for glass, check your windows and doors for drafts. Add weather stripping or caulk wherever cold air seeps in.
- The chimney
Heat, smoke and dangerous gases from your fireplace and heating system travel up your chimney and out of your house, keeping the air inside breathable. A dirty chimney could affect air quality and also pose a fire hazard.
Keep your chimney clean. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having it inspected annually and cleaned as needed. In general, with chimneys and fireplaces, the more you use it, the more likely you need it to be swept. Expect to spend between $150 and $200 on a chimney sweep, according to Angie’s List.