Make a Plan for Your Home’s Maintenance

It’s important to add annual home maintenance to your radar so you can keep your new home in great condition.

You can think of your home inspection report as your initial (or eventual) to-do list. But don’t forget about the general ongoing maintenance like gutter cleaning. There’s plenty more to do than what’s listed here, but this is a good start.

I have recurring events on my calendar set up to do these tasks – I recommend doing something similar so you don’t forget.

Replace your furnace filter

You can order a pack of new ones online, or bring your current filter into Lowe’s to get new ones the same size. You should replace your filter twice a year — or more during fire season if you have central air, or if you’re prone to indoor allergies. It’s best to have a stack handy — they always sell out during fire season. Make sure it’s the right size and facing the right direction. If you use window A/C units or mini splits, make sure to clean the little filter (yes it has one!) monthly.

Service your furnace

You should have your furnace/hvac system serviced yearly. I’ve had great luck with Rose City Heating & Cooling but your mileage may vary. You may want to consider having professionals clean your ducts as well. Especially if you have allergies like me.

Clean your gutters

In this climate, keeping water away from your house is SUPER important. Blocked gutters are a huge issue. You should clean your gutters twice a year or more. If your house is super tall, consider hiring a professional. Make sure your down spouts are draining property and all the water is going far away from your home. Also make sure to trim trees away from your roof so they don’t clog your gutters or screw up your roof.

Clean your roof

Keeping your roof free of moss is a great easy way to extend it’s life. There are products you can buy to kill moss and keep it at bay, or hire a professional to do this for you. Inspect the roof for wear while you’re cleaning (or while you have someone up there).

Exterior paint

Do a walk around one nice day in the summer and touch up any chipped paint on the siding and trim of your home if you see any. The paint’s job is to keep your siding from getting wet and rotting — it’s important it stays dry.

Clean your dryer vent

I have a friend who lost her house to a fire due to a dryer vent not being cleaned out. This is the silver space tube that vents the hot air from your dryer out to the outside. You can remove it, clean it out with a vacuum, and re-attach. If it’s got holes or is smushed, you can easily and inexpensively replace. Don’t forget to also clean out the exhaust vent outside. This should be done yearly or every 6 months.

Unplug your hose and irrigation system during freezing temperatures

I learned this lesson the hard way. Water expands as it freezes, and if your hose is plugged in and full of water when it freezes, there’s no room for it to go anywhere, and it can crack your outside faucet. Unplug and drain out your hose during freezing temps and you should be fine. Shut down and drain your automatic irrigation system too if you have one.

Smoke and CO alarms

Test and replace batteries for your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Make sure they’re all functioning. Consider upgrading to a smart smoke/co alarm – I recommend Nest Protect. While you’re at it, I also recommend purchasing an Airthings View Plus which also detects radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US.

Chimney cleaning

If you have a wood fireplace, have it professionally inspected and swept out once a year, in the fall, before you start to use it.