One of the biggest changes a homeowner experiences when switching from renting to owning are the surprise home repair bills. Gone are the days of calling a landlord (sometimes over and over again) to get the AC running or get that leak in the roof repaired- now it’s up to you and your savings account. Luckily there are some ways you can prevent unexpected home repairs with a dose of regular maintenance!
- Vacuum dryer vent pipe
a. First of all, lint is a fire hazard. So along with cleaning the filter out as needed, at least once a year clean out the vent pipe- or have a pro do it. And make sure the vent flap is open when operating.
- Change air/furnace filters and clean your HVAC System
a. A dirty filter can raise your energy bill by 5%-15%. And getting a pro to perform regular recommended maintenance can keep it running more efficiently for longer.
- Clean your gutters
a. It’s recommended that you clean your gutters up to 4 times per year. More if you home is heavily shaded by trees and less if not. Faulty gutter systems can cause water damage to your foundations and to the house which can end up costing you thousands. Welcome to own ownership! Now get a ladder, a spade and get up on the roof!
- Winterize plumbing
a. I know living in Florida this is not something we typically have to do. But thanks to The Great Freeze of 2018 that left hundreds if not thousands of pipe cracked from the freeze we now know we DO in fact, have to winterize!
b. Check out this article on how best to winterize your plumbing:https://www.angieslist.com/articles/5-tips-winterize-plumbing-and-pipes.htm
c. IF you do have a burst pipe, you can get a “one-time” bill adjustment from your utility provider! They say one-time but from what I’ve understood you can use it once every 5 years- not a verified fact.
- Keep a tidy yard
a. My dear sweet first time homeowners. You who has never mowed a lawn or pulled a weed, I’m looking at you. The City of Pensacola will gladly come and cut your grass for you if you neglect it for too long. And they will gladly charge you a huge fee to do so. A fee you could have used to BUY a lawnmower. So either get a lawnmower and cut your grass yourself or pay a neighbor $30 to do it.
- Vacuum your refrigerator coils
a. The fridge can use up to 15% of your home’s total power so you want it running as efficiently as possible. Twice a year pull the fridge out and bust out the hand vacuum and vacuum those coils!
- Flush your hot water heater and remove sediment
a. This prolongs the life of the heater and helps with the overall efficiency.
- Clean your appliances
a. Did you know you’re supposed to clean your appliances? That’s right, to keep them running efficiently and last longer do a bi-annual clean of your washing machine and your dishwasher!
b. How to Clean Your Washing Machine: http://www.diynetwork.com/made-and-remade/learn-it/laundry-101–how-to-clean-your-washing-machine
For other tips and a schedule of regular home maintenance items check out: https://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/10/08/keep-your-house-in-tip-top-shape-an-incredibly-handy-home-maintenance-checklist/