After the move is done, the boxes finally unpacked, and the empty closets filled, every (new homeowner) reaches a point where they realize they are going to have to prepare their home for the upcoming season. A home needs (regular maintenance) to help deal with upcoming cold, wet, heat, and other conditions.
Good news – a proper (home maintenance plan) will help you prepare for each season and quickly fall into a routine that will help protect your house…and even save money. Here are the best (new homeowner tips) to start with.
- If you have replaceable filters in your HVAC system, now is the time to replace them and possibly arrange for an official inspection if your system is several years old or more.
- Check the weatherstripping – the felt borders around windows and doors – around your home. In a new home, weatherstripping should be in place, creating seals against drafts. In older homes, some of it may have worn away.
- If your home has a fireplace, make sure it is clean and free of damage. If you have a flue cap or cover, remove it to get the fireplace ready for action, and arrange a reliable supply of fuel.
- Irrigation systems need to be blown out in colder climates so they don't free up and damage sprinklers over winter. Local irrigation services will be able to schedule these services.
- Trim loose branches and bushes around your home. It's good for preventing fire hazards, and will prevent them from becoming dangerous in wind storms.
- After most of the leaves have fallen, it's time to rake up the leaves from your lawn and give the grass one last low cut. Then clean out your gutters so they aren't filled with leaves and debris over winter. Hiring experts for projects like these is an option, but will increase your (average home maintenance costs) as well.
- If your home has foundation vents in a colder climate, look for foam vent plugs to insert in these, which will help keep warm air inside. Likewise, you can find foam covers for your outdoor faucets if you regularly get freezing weather.
- Give your heating system some help by keeping your shades or blinds open on windows that get a lot of sunlight in winter.
- Check that your ceiling fans are turning clockwise: This helps draw up cooler air and push down warmer air to help heat the room more effectively.
- If you get snow or ice, you may want to invest in a sturdy shovel or snowplow. Snow melting products are also a possibility, but some substances like salt may cause damage to your pavement over time, so apply carefully.
- During major thaws after snow, check your basement, garage, and attic for any obvious leaks. It's important to fix these quickly!
- If you experience deep freezes, open your sink cabinets and trickle cold water from your faucets overnight to prevent frozen pipes. You can also cover bare pipes with insulation for extra protection.
- Your HVAC system has been through a lot over the colder months, so now it's time to replace your air duct filter so it's ready to deal with upcoming allergens.
- Inspect your roof. Fall and winter storms can be hard on rooftops, especially with high winds. You should take a close look to spot loose or missing shingles (along with other problems like algae). An experienced roofer can help deal with these issues.
- Take a look around the exterior of your building for any signs of damage. If you notice heavy buildup of dirt or stains, it may be time to rent a power washer and do a deep clean.
- Find a local landscaping professional and ask them what you should do with your lawn to prepare for spring. Fertilization, thatching, and other services may depend on your grass species and climate.
- Your gutters also probably filled up with debris again – it's time to clean them out once more.
- Consider arranging for professional (annual maintenance) for your AC system if you haven't had it done in years. This can check that the refrigerant levels are correct and spot any problems before you need serious cooling.
- As spring warms up, take out your foundation vents, turn on your irrigation, and set a watering schedule.
- If spring in your area is especially rainy, watch for pooling water on both your lawn and roof. This indicates a serious drainage issue that can cause big problems if not addressed.
- Those with patios or decks will want to bring out or clean off their outdoor furniture as well.
- Switch your ceiling fans to counter-clockwise to encourage a cool air cycle.
- This is also a good time to vacuum out your dryer exhaust to remove lint, etc. You can do this at any time, but it might as well be in warmer weather.
- If your summer gets very hot, start closing window shades on windows that get a lot of sunlight in the day to keep things cooler.
- Check that your lawn and outdoor plants are getting the right amount of water and not drying up.
- Watch for pest problems like mosquitos, ants, wasps, and mice. If it looks like any are becoming an issue or building a nest near your home, contact a professional.
If you are wondering (how much does it cost to own a house) or any related questions to choosing a new home, Lancia Homes is happy to talk about the details with you. (Maintenance issues) are much easier to deal with when you find a house design you love, and we can make that happen.