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Home Maintenance Tips

Monthly Action Items

  • Replace furnace filters every 1 to 3 months as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Flush garbage disposal with hot water and baking soda frequently. Do not put lettuce, egg shells or large pieces of food down the disposal.
  • Inspect fire extinguisher to verify the pin is intact and firmly in place. Also check discharge nozzle to ensure it is not clogged.
  • Clean out debris from sink and tub stoppers and drains.
  • Review fire escape route to make sure furniture additions are not obstructing the pathway.
  • Check window and door locks to ensure they are functioning properly.

Quarterly Action Items

  • Replace the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Please note that even recent hard wired smoke detectors have backup batteries that must be replaced.
  • Clean range hood filters and drip pans.
  • Drain water heater completely from clean out valve to remove sediment build-up that causes premature wear and tear. Sediment build up will also create the water heater to heat less efficiently and may eventually cause loud popping sounds.
  • Examine drains and valves of showers, sinks, toilets and tubs for any leaks. Seal as necessary.
  • Test all GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets.

Yearly Action Items

  • Determine if there are cracked, missing or loose shingles. Repair as needed.
  • Examine seals around plumbing vents, skylights, flue vents and chimneys on the roof. Seal when necessary using exterior grade sealant.
  • Evaluate for disconnected extensions or downspouts and loose or leaking gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in a basement or crawlspace. Make certain downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris. Landscaping and concrete should slope away from the home.
  • Have the fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned.
  • Vacuum the refrigerator and freezer coils on the back or bottom of appliance.
  • Clean leaves and debris from the outside condenser of the central air conditioning unit.
  • Inspect windows and doors for loose or missing caulking and weather stripping. Repair and seal as necessary.
  • Vacuum the exhaust duct for the dryer. If the duct is plastic, replace it as this is considered a fire hazard. Rigid sheet-metal ducting is best.
  • Seal tub, tile and plumbing fixtures in the bathrooms and kitchens using a high quality silicone or caulk.
  • In the fall, shut off and disconnect swamp cooler water lines. Drain and cover the unit. When draining swamp cooler, use a hose to drain the water off the roof. Caution: Draining the cooler directly onto the roof will cause damage to shingles.