Investing in a home is an expensive endeavor. Not only do you have to purchase the house itself, but you have to regularly maintain it while you own it either yourself or with a property management company. Failing to keep up with home maintenance can lead to expensive repairs and replacements.
Here, we’ll go over five home maintenance tips to reduce home costs.
#1 Get an Energy Audit
Has the electric or gas bill ever gone up unexpectedly and stayed there? Did you investigate the increase in cost, or pay the bill and continue to get irritated every month when it slowly climbed higher and higher? Whether this has happened to your tenant or not, you should consider getting an energy audit for your home.
Sealing a few cracks around the house can have a significant effect on the monthly utilities. Through a home energy audit, you can find out where your home is spending and wasting energy. Not only does an energy audit help you lose less, but it can also help you make long-term decisions in the future such as what type of appliances you should purchase and even whether it’s time for a new hot water tank. If you’re losing a significant amount of energy through cracks in and around your home, you may want to consider installing a house wrap together with a good exterior wall sheathing to create an effective air barrier.
#2 Check The Washer and Dryer
Your washer and dryer are probably tucked away in a closet, basement, or garage. These machines are part of daily life, but they're also noisy and don’t blend easily into most home decor, so most homeowners keep them tucked away and don’t give them much thought.
But, if your washer springs a leak or your dryer has a ton of lint build-up, you could be looking at costly repairs such as fire or water damage. By taking the time to regularly empty your dryer’s lint build-up and checking the washer machine for leaks, you can help prevent these costs and make repairs before a problem gets out of hand. It’s also a good idea to install smoke alarms in or near your laundry room, even if you do inspect your dryer regularly.
#3 Schedule Regular Maintenance for Your Heating and Cooling Systems
Another must-do home maintenance task is scheduling heating and cooling system inspections. Call your local HVAC inspector to schedule maintenance appointments. During regular maintenance appointments, an inspector can clean your heating and cooling systems and take note of any repairs that may need to be done in the future.
By staying on top of the maintenance of your heating and cooling systems, you can stay comfortable on cold winter nights and hot summer days. By taking care of any problems before your home needs its furnace or cooling system, you can avoid emergency repair calls and rush service repairs.
#4 Keep Home’s Gutters Clean
Your home’s gutters are extremely important. Unless you’ve ever had a problem related to clogged gutters, you may not realize just how important they are. Gutters catch rain and divert it away from your home. If your gutters get clogged and stay clogged for any amount of time, your home, even modern concrete homes, could begin to experience the following issues:
- Leaky roof
- Wood Rot
- Cracked foundations
- Bug infestations
- Damage to even the most durable types of house siding
To avoid these issues, you should regularly clean your gutters. Most homeowners and house inspectors recommend cleaning your gutters at least two times a year. When cleaning your gutters, it’s essential to remove any debris and then run water through the gutters. Before deeming your gutters good to go, it’s important to make sure no water leaks from the gutters. Secondly, make sure the water empties where it is supposed to through the drainage pipe.
#5 Drain Water Heater Yearly
Did you know that you should drain your water heater at least once a year? It’s true, you should. It’s normal for sediment to build up in your water heater. If the residue is allowed to build up in your water tank continually, it could lead to failure. If your hot water tank fails, you could find yourself in an uncomfortable shower and suddenly in need of a new water tank.
One way you can avoid this situation is to maintain your home’s hot water tank regularly. To do this, drain the water heater and let it fill up. As the container is refilling, it’s vital you inspect the area around the hot water tank to look for any leaks or other signs of malfunctioning.
There you have it! Five tips that can help you reduce home expenditures in the future.
Most of these maintenance tips will take a few minutes to an hour to complete, but left unchecked could lead to costly repairs and replacement costs.
One way to make sure the maintenance is handled and expensive costs won’t sneak up on you is to create a maintenance schedule and stick to it.
Andrea Erickson is a contributor to Innovative Building Materials. She is a blogger and content writer for the real estate industry. Andrea is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.