Most people assume that owning a home would be less stressful than renting one. Sorry to disappoint, but that’s just not the case. There’s more responsibility that comes with having your own home.
There will be no one to come and do repairs for you or carry out maintenance on your house. So that means that the buck stops with you. You’re now responsible for every repair and maintenance procedure that your home may require.
Therefore, it’s essential to understand that a well-maintained home can save you a lot of money in the long run. There’s no need to put money toward unnecessary repairs or replacements! Plus, learning to implement good basic home maintenance can also help bring down those nasty utility bills.
This article has outlined some of the essential tasks that you can carry out to keep your home in good condition.
1. Install an automatic thermostat or a smart thermostat.
A smart thermostat is a good investment to help you save on those high power bills. But either of these kinds of thermostats will work more efficiently to regulate temperatures in your home. It will be able to read the surrounding temperatures and adjust itself within parameters you provide to make the house comfortable for you. Consult your utility provider If you want to find the most efficient thermostat to use in your home.
2. Clean your gutters regularly.
Gutters play an important role in every home’s protection system. They ensure that rainwater from the roof does not cause damage to walls, foundations, and the surrounding landscape. Additionally, in areas where there is minimal air pollution, the gutters can be used to harvest rainwater, which can be used for domestic purposes.
It is important to take proper care of the gutters in your home by cleaning them regularly. If not properly cleaned, the gutters can clog and form a habitat for parasites, pests, and stagnant water. This can create a fertile breeding area for mosquitoes. It is advisable to get professional help when cleaning the gutters because it can be dangerous to do it yourself. Furthermore, a pro can spot potential problems or early repair needs. This is a prime example of why all good maintenance is preventative and can help you save money on home repairs.
3. Regularly change all the air filters.
If you want your HVAC system to run efficiently, you need to ensure that the air filters are in good condition. Old filters may not work efficiently, which then overworks other parts, like fans. This can eventually cause damage to parts and will cost you more in the long run. Listen to see if your HVAC sounds labored or is producing any different or strange sounds. That could be an indicator of old air filters that need to be replaced.
4. Check the attic insulation and install more if needed.
The attic in your home serves a greater purpose than simply acting as storage space. It is primarily a protective space against cold weather, humidity, and excessive heat in your home. It is necessary to have the attic adequately insulated if you want it to do its job properly. You are advised to carry out regular inspections to check the condition of the attic insulation, and if you find any part that has been damaged, install new insulation. According to this Energy Star report, “The recommended level for most attics is to insulate to R-38 or about 10 to 14 inches, depending on insulation type.”
This also allows for checking the integrity of your roof from the underside which can be very valuable for spotting signs of deterioration or rot from old leaks.
5. Upgrade your HVAC system.
It is a good thing that your HVAC has been able to serve you for a long time, but it may be time you upgraded. Old HVAC systems are known to consume more energy when regulating thermal conditions in your home. Upgrading to an energy-saving HVAC will save you thousands in utility bills in the long term.
6. Replace your old roof.
You may find it a bit expensive to install a new roof, but the long-term loss that you may incur from a damaged roof will be even more costly. A damaged roof can cause water leakage, which can lead to deep damage and more repairs to your house. Installing a new roof will help safeguard your home against such damages, which is vital if you want to save on larger repair costs. When carrying out the installation, ensure that you are working with a professional roofing contractor. This will ensure that you get quality work and that your new roof will last longer.
7. Use lower water heater temperatures – no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is not safe to use water with a temperature of above 120 degrees. Plus, leaving the water heater running above that temp is a waste of energy and money. By lowering the temperature on your water heater, you will save money that would have been spent on high energy bills.
8. Clean out your dryer lint vent.
Regular usage of your laundry dryer leads to the accumulation of lint in the lint trap. It is important to point out that lint is highly flammable, and can potentially be the cause of a fire in your home. That’s why it is so important to have it cleaned regularly. You can hire a professional to do the cleaning or do it on your own. Check your local hardware store or home improvement store for a Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit.
9. Deduct your mortgage interest on your tax return.
One of the nightmares dreaded most by homeowners is the accruing interest on their mortgage. One of the only things worse for many is tax season. How relieving would it be to get mortgage interest deductions on your taxes? That’s a two-for-one win! As a US citizen, you are entitled to annual mortgage interest deduction when filing your tax returns. While not strictly a home maintenance tip, still it’s a good reminder! Utilize this and you could end up saving a lot of cash annually.
10. Flush your hot water heater.
To ensure the efficiency of your water heater, have it flushed at least once every year. This helps with the removal of debris that makes the heater inefficient hence consuming a lot of energy. Get a professional that deals with water heaters to do the flushing if you do not know how to go about it. For our DIYers. Here’s a good tutorial.
11. Plug your outlets for safety.
Electrical outlets on your wall can, at times, let cold air into your home. Even more so if the wall in not properly insulated. This increases the workload on your HVAC, which means more energy consumption and higher bills to pay. You can use the childproof outlet plugs on such outlets to block any air leak from the wall. Another two-for-one win!
Carrying out the above maintenance tasks is crucial for you as a homeowner. It will ensure that your home stays more efficient and that it retains its value. In addition, it will also save on some additional expenses that would have accrued if the maintenance had not been done. To get the best results in your maintenance work, and to ensure better safety, always use high-quality equipment and tools. Also, when hiring contractors or a handyman, be sure to only hire qualified personnel.
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