Home Maintenance Tips – Just like your car, your home requires proper maintenance, or you’ll end up paying a big price with it coming back to bite you in the end.
A house is the biggest purchase most people ever make, and regular maintenance helps to ensure that you protect that asset, avoiding expensive repairs later.
One of the primary reasons a home doesn’t sell when it’s put on the market is that it’s been poorly maintained, resulting in many repairs that the buyer will need to make – or forcing the seller to make them before the sale can close, which may prove too costly.
For example, as Kiplinger reports, replacing a roof in Florida runs around $6,000 for a 1,500-square-foot home, or $25,000 for one that’s 4,000-square-feet.
Buyers, particularly first-time home buyers, are likely to be scared off by that.
The good news is that home maintenance doesn’t always have to be costly.
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Home Maintenance Tips that Will Save You Money
There are ways to do-it-yourself that can save you money now, and in the future, keeping your home in good working order for many years to come.
Keep Your Roof in Shape
As mentioned, it’s important to keep your roof in tip-top shape.
By periodically checking it for damage and quickly replacing any worn or discovered shingles can prevent the need to replace it.
Pay special attention to shingles around the chimney, vents, and skylights as they tend to be most prone to leaks.
Protect Hardwood Floors with Area Rugs
Area rugs can help your hardwood floors stay in good condition as well as provide cushioning on the hard surface.
While there are plenty of pricey rugs you can buy, there are cheap giant rugs that can be purchased to suit every budget.
Related Content: Taking Care of a Wooden Floor, a wooden floor you are particularly proud of!
Replace Weather Stripping
Most doors and windows come with weather stripping, the lengths of mental or rubber that seal gaps while allowing the door or window to open and shut properly.
It tends to wear out after time, so you’ll want to be sure that it’s redone on a regular basis.
Caulking on Windows and Doors
Sometimes it’s better to use caulk than weather stripping to keep doors and windows insulated.
It’s cheap and can be used indoors and out to help seal any cracks.
Change HVAC Filters Regularly
Filters for cooling and heating systems should be changed once every month or every two months, depending on how heavily they’re used.
You may need to change them even more often, every two weeks, if your a/c is running all the time during the summer, or if you live in a northern climate subject to harsh winters and use the heat continuously through the season.
Always Clean Out Your Dryer Vent
Allowing lint to build up in your dryer’s vent not only means clothes will take longer to dry, reducing its efficiency and requiring more energy, it could possibly lead to damage.
Replace Worn Out Washers in Faucets
The primary cause of a leaky faucet is worn out washers as they’re made up of rubber.
They’re easy to replace, just turn off the main water supply by unscrewing the handle that controls the flow of water to the spout, remove the washer and drop in a new one.
Touch Up Interior Paint
While you can transform the look for your home by repainting the entire interior, it can be rather costly and take quite a bit of time.
Instead, be sure to save paint from the current paint job, and then you can use that to do simple touch ups, rolling it over dirty spots on the wall. When it dries, it will look as though it was freshly painted.
Prevent Hair Clogs in Bathtub Drains
Strainers for your bathtub drains are extremely cheap and can prevent clogged drains.
It will allow you to easily remove any hair that accumulates after a shower to reduce the amount that gets into the plumbing.
Keep Gutters Clear
Be sure to clear out your gutters on a regular basis.
If you don’t and they end up clogged, it can lead to wood rot, bug problems, roof leaks and even a cracked foundation.
Best Home Maintenance Tools
I shop for tools primarily online at ToolBarn.com and Lowes.
Ways to Save Energy this Winter
It can seem easier to save energy in the warmer months, but it’s just as important (and even more economical) in colder weather.
To get advice on ways to save energy in the winter, I asked the eco-friendly home performance experts atfor their advice on reducing our carbon footprint in our homes from December to June.
Easy ways to save energy
Their best tips, as well as our our advice for work, school, and travel, are included in our 10 easy ways to save energy this winter:
Turn your thermostat down just a few degrees
This will give you an excuse to break out the hot cocoa or that favorite fuzzy bathrobe, and will save you hundreds over the course of one winter.
It’s surprising how quickly you can get used to a new ‘baseline’ temperature in your home.
Have your heating and cooling system maintained and cleaned yearly
A thin layer of dirt on the inside coil of your system can reduce efficiency by 10% or more.
Few people think about this hidden efficiency issue, but almost all local heating and cooling industry professionals will offer this service.
Replace your most used lighting with CFL or LED lightbulbs
LED bulbs use up to 75% less energy and last longer than incandescent bulbs.
Get over the initial sticker price and change out your bulbs this winter!
Ride your bike to work
Yes, you can still commute to work by bike in winter!
Wear rain gear over work clothes to make the transition into the office easy, and make sure you have a quality safety light if your commute will be in the dark.
Turn down your hot water heater to “vacation mode”
Or “low”, unplug unused/un-needed appliances or electronics to combat “vampire” usage, set your thermostat to 60-65, and turn your thermostat down on your pool or spa.
Have your home “performance tested”
Determine any duct leakage, under-insulation, or excessive air leakage in the house.
In our area of the northwest, for instance, duct leakage is 25-40% on average.
This can cause efficiency concerns obviously, but also health, safety, and comfort issues in the home.
Make sure the air you breathe the most–the air in your home–is not making you sick this winter!
Carpool to school or work
My family is involved in no less than four different car pools to accommodate my kids’ school and activity schedules.
While sometimes difficult to keep track of, carpooling saves us hundreds of dollars in fuel costs and reduces our carbon footprint.
Don’t block registers, radiators, return air, or baseboard heaters
Be sure to check the vents under beds and in closets, which can easily become blocked by blankets, clothes, or boxes.
Buy (and prepare) seasonal produce
Instead of having your fresh fruit shipped from abroad, find out what’s seasonal locally.
Look up recipes using seasonal ingredients, and find inspiration at your local farmer’s markets.
Light candles instead of switching on lights
I’m not suggesting you do everything by candlelight, but winter candles can add a nice touch to the dining room during meals or the living room while you’re only needing low light.
Only do this when there are adults present, not when children will be around and especially not around toddlers.
Accidents happen in just a second.
These are very simple and easy ways to save energy that you can implement immediately.
What ideas do you have for reducing energy use during the winter months with these Home Maintenance Tips?
Air Conditioning Maintenance To Save Money on HVAC Costs
Air Conditioning Maintenance – By keeping your air conditioner well-maintained, not only will you avoid costly repair bills in the long term, but it can help reduce your energy costs right away.
When an air conditioner is in disrepair or even when there’s just dirt built upon the components, it has to work a lot harder to keep working.
Each year, air conditioners will cost homeowners $29 billion a year– and that’s in energy costs alone.
When you figure in maintenance and replacements, that number can quickly end up being more than half a trillion dollars a year.
Whether you’re looking for air conditioning installation in Aurora, CO, or want to ensure that your current system lasts another decade, these are maintenance steps you should keep in mind.
Air Conditioning Maintenance
The savings you get will probably be worth a small investment, too.
Below are the steps you may want to take to keep your air conditioner well-maintained all year.
Check, Clean, and Replace HVAC Filters
Having new, clean filters can reduce the energy consumption of your air conditioner by as much as 15%, according to the US Department of Energy.
Clean filters make it much easier for air to pass through them.
This allows the machine to work more efficiently.
Choosing the right filter may be a bit of a chore if you haven’t replaced your screens in a while.
However, once you know what you need, finding your next replacement will be a breeze.
Depending on the type of filter you purchase and your environment, how often you need to change your filters will vary.
However, most filters for home AC units will need to be replaced once a month or once every four weeks.
Clean AC Vents, Drains, and Air Conditioner Coils
Your unit should be kept as clean as possible both inside and out…including portable air conditioner.
Any type of dirt on a coil, fin, and in a vent can block airflow and end up costing you more and more over time.
Pets, plants near an outdoor unit, or living in a rural area may mean you need to spend more time maintaining these types of things.
After cleaning, it’s a good idea to inspect any vents for leaks or damage.
Weather and wildlife can cause problems with any ventilation or air conditioning system.
Check to make sure vents are solid, airflow is steady, and all fins are in their original positions.
The condensation drain should also be maintained once in a while.
Doing so can help prevent the formation of clogs that may lead to necessary, costly repairs.
If a clog does occur, and you don’t catch it quickly, water damage may lead to more than a cosmetic imperfection.
You could end up with a weak or collapsed floor, mold, or worse.
Professional HVAC Maintenance
Every few years it’s a good idea to bring in a professional to take care of tasks like these as well as some maintenance tasks you may not be able, trained, or comfortable enough to do yourself.
For example, a professional can check refrigerant levels and replace it, if needed.
They can also perform several tests with specialized equipment that can quickly check the efficiency of your unit.