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Maintain and Sustain: Keeping Up on Home Maintenance

by Jessica Ackerman on Aug 3, 2010

By keeping up on some simple home maintenance tasks, you can reduce the chances that more serious and expensive problems will occur, which might require actual repairs. It can be easy to forget to keep up on these types of tasks, but when a problem occurs, you'll wish you did. Here are some common home maintenance tasks that should be performed regularly to avoid potential problems.

Heating and Cooling Check-Up

Once a year, have your heating and cooling systems inspected by a professional. This can not only help avoid costly repairs but can also prevent finding out that the furnace doesn't work when it's already cold out. Filters should also be checked replaced regularly.  Check the pilot light on a gas furnace occasionally.

Laundry Facilities

There are several things you should do to keep the laundry facilities running smoothly. Inspect the washing machine hoses for cracks or leaks. Also, remove lint buildup from dryer vents, and check the exhaust system periodically to make sure the connection is good, and that there aren't any blockages.

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms should be checked regularly. It is often recommended to change the batteries in these devices when you reset clocks during the twice-a-year time change to make sure the batteries are always fresh. Also, check any GFI receptacles periodically to make sure they are operating correctly.

Appliances

Keep appliances running efficiently and safely by pulling them away from the wall and removing the dust that is prone to collect behind them.  This can be especially important with the condenser coils on the back of the refrigerator. You also want to periodically check the seals on the doors of refrigerators and freezer to make sure they seal tightly. Check and clean the filter of the range hood regularly.

Water System

There are several things you can do to ensure that water systems in your house continue to operate smoothly. Change the washers when faucets start to drip or leak. The water heater pressure relief valve should also be checked periodically. Check the sump pump and clean the basket. You should also check your drain traps for blockage, and clean out any debris, to avoid clogging problems. Any water pipes on exterior walls should be insulated to prevent pipes from freezing.

Some seasonal maintenance tasks should be performed. Especially in the fall, gutters and drain pipes can become clogged with leaves. These need to be removed to prevent potential ice damage from occurring. Check the weather stripping on all exterior doors, and replace it if necessary. Remove garden hoses and turn off the shutoff valves to exterior water faucets if possible before freezing weather. Your chimney should also be checked, to make sure it is clear of debris. Remove ashes from the fireplace regularly. Check windows and doors for drafts, and seal if necessary.

By following these and any other simple maintenance tasks that your home might require, you will save time and money in the long run by avoiding the need for repairs... because things always seem to break at the most inconvenient moment!

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