To-Do listWhen buying a home, most people think of the financial responsibility. However, being a homeowner also requires time and labor. Keeping up with regular home maintenance tasks will help you avoid emergency repairs and expensive costs.

These various tasks can be intimidating. To maximize your efficiency, you may want to add home maintenance tasks to your calendar. Certain tasks need to be done monthly, quarterly, biannually and seasonally. The list below will help you get organized and accomplish task so that your experience as a homeowner will be more enjoyable.

Monthly

  • Inspect, and possibly change out HVAC filters. Filters should be checked monthly. If the filter is dirty, change it, otherwise inspect it again next month. The benefits of regular filter changes include: peak performance from your furnace or air conditioner, extends the life of your system, reduces the costs of energy you use, maximizes air flow throughout the house and improves the air quality you breath in your home.
  • Clean kitchen sink disposal. Food scraps can accumulate in your sinks garbage disposal and produce foul odors. There are several ways to clean your disposal; check your manual first for recommendations. One common method is to use vinegar ice cubes. The ice cubes will help sharpen the blades while the vinegar helps eliminate unpleasant odors.
  • Clean or change range hood filters. Filtering out pollutants that can cause odors to build up in the kitchen can be a dirty job. Regular filter cleaning or changes will allow the range hood to operate more effectively.
  • Inspect your fire extinguisher(s). Make sure it’s easily accessible, that the gauge shows adequate pressure and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.

Quarterly

  • Test smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. Your detectors should have a “test” button. If the alarm sounds, you’re good to go. If not, immediately replace the batteries and test again. If it still doesn’t sound, check to see if there is any corrosion on the battery terminal. If so, clean it and try again. If it still doesn’t work, you’ll likely need to replace your detector.
  • Test garage door auto-reverse feature. In 1993, federal law required all garage doors to have an auto-reverse. Place a 2×4 on the ground where the door would close. It should reverse once the door hits the wood. Also, if you have the photo-electric sensors test them by placing an object, not a person, in front of the sensors. The door should immediately go back up. If not, you have a problem.
  • Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces. Regularly run a little bit of water into guest bathrooms, or any other sinks/water sources you don’t use on a regular basis. This task will help prevent grime or any other kind of build up from occurring.