Did you know that the majority of homeowners don’t pay attention to warning signs that their house needs maintenance? In fact, they put off or ignore maintenance in an attempt to save money. Unfortunately, delaying maintenance actually costs more as home repair is expensive.
The New York Post reported in 2018 that just over 32% of homeowners put off at least one maintenance project for 12 months or longer. Putting off maintenance and home improvement projects typically escalates problems. In the long run, the only way to get reduced costs on home repair is to do maintenance over the course of the year. Below are 10 home maintenance tips that you can use to save you money, and thus reduce your home expenses.
1. Clean the Dryer Lint Trap
Every time you dry laundry, you’re supposed to empty the lint trap that’s in the dryer. Unfortunately, some lint always gets by the filter or falls into the dryer as you remove the filter. In most cases, you can use a small vacuum hose to clean out not only your dryer but the dryer vent. Also, you should try scrubbing the lint trap every six months to remove all the small particles.
Regularly cleaning the lint trap will help your dryer run better. It can even prolong the life of your dryer and save money by reducing the workload required to dry your laundry. Additionally, cleaning the lint trap removes the fire hazard that lint causes. After all, lint is very flammable.
2. Install a Programmable Thermostat
It’s time to change out your traditional thermostat for a smart one. Programmable thermostats are cheaper and easier to install than ever. Best of all, they let you control the temperature in your house no matter where you are. By upgrading your thermostat, you can save hundreds of dollars a year on your energy expenses. This upgrade actually pays for itself.
3. Dust-Off the Refrigerator Coils
Part of your spring maintenance routine should be to pull out your refrigerator and clean off the coils. This sounds a lot harder than it actually is. All you have to do is unplug the fridge, and unsnap the grill that covers the coils. Now, get your broom to sweep out all of the hair and debris that has accumulated over the year.
4. Check and Replace Weatherstripping
Did you know that the majority of your heating and cooling is lost via your doors and windows? Upgrading to energy-efficient doors and windows won’t do you much good if the weatherstripping around them is bad.
Once a year, ensure that your weatherstripping is still in working order. If it’s cracked or degrading, pull it up, and install new stripping. You can typically buy it at a home improvement store for cheap.
5. Clean Out Your Gutters
This is one maintenance project that no one wants to get involved with. However, cleaning out your gutters protects the foundation of your home by ensuring that water properly drains away from it. Clogged gutters can also make water back up onto the roof, causing mold and rot. You should clean your gutters every few months, but at the very least, do it twice a year.
6. Insulate Your Water Heater
The amount of money homeowners lose to their water heater is outrageous. If your water heater is outside of your home, it works overtime during the winter to keep your water hot. That not only wears out your water heater faster but also costs you a lot in terms of energy consumption.
Fortunately, insulating your water heater is easy. In fact, you can buy precut fiberglass jackets to install around the unit. Also, you can buy foam insulators for your pipes.
7. Deep Clean or Replace Your Carpets
The best maintenance tips help not only your house but also you and your family. Deep cleaning your carpets is a great way to remove the dirt and moisture that gets trapped in it. Eventually, the debris can lead to the formation of mold, which can cause health issues and cost a fortune to eliminate. If you have carpet, make sure that you have it deep cleaned at least once a year.
8. Check Your Toilet for Leaks
Even a slow, leaky toilet can cost a ton of money on your water bill. Sometimes, homeowners don’t notice the leak because it’s not leaking onto the floor. However, you’re still wasting water if the water leaks out of the tank and down the drain. When this is a problem, the toilet will randomly refill the tank with water. Do the right thing for the environment and your wallet by fixing leaks when they arise.
9. Inspect Your Roof for Leaks
Once in the spring and again in the summer, you should go into the attic to check for water damage. If you have a leaky roof, you’ll notice water damage in the decking. Then, you need to fix it as soon as you can. A leaky roof can lead to wood rot, which means that you might have to replace the entire decking. If you check it soon enough, though, you can prevent that.
10. Check Your Alarms
Checking your alarms involves assessing not only your home security system but also your fire alarms. Having working smoke detectors can mean the difference between your home burning down or catching a fire before it gets out of control. At the very least, having a working alarm can save your family members’ lives. You can’t put a price on that.
Hire the Right Contractor
If you’re uncomfortable doing your own maintenance, hire the right contractor for the job. Contractors From Hell can provide all of the information that you need to hire a contractor that you can count on.
In fact, we invite you to check out the Home Remodeling Bootcamp to learn to further your knowledge on avoiding remodeling disasters.
Hamna Amjad is a home organization enthusiast and blogger with features/mentions in Brit+ Co, Best Company, G2, and others. When she isn’t getting nagged by her husband or 2 kids, she spends time writing about or trying a new DIY project at her home.
Author’s Twitter ID: @HamnaAmjad