If you live in cold weather, fall is when you put in the storm windows. If you live in a warm climate, summer is when you step up the pool maintenance. No matter where you live, however, checking on – and maintaining – 10 areas of your home each year is one good way to ensure your home stays in peak condition.
From the home maintenance consultants at Home Depot, here is where – and how – to begin:
- Roof – In early fall, check around vents, skylights and chimneys for cracks or leaks and repair or replace tiles as necessary.
- Gutters – Clean gutters so leaves won’t clog them, and be sure they drain away from the house.
- Fireplace – Clean out any leftover ashes. If heavily used in winter, you may want the chimney professionally cleaned. Make sure the damper is closed tightly.
- Filters – Clean or replace furnace filters once every month or as needed. Check and clean the dryer vent, air conditioner, stove hood and room fans regularly.
- Safety equipment – Be sure smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are in good working condition. Replace batteries twice a year.
- Air conditioner – In cold climates, put on waterproof covers when you cover or remove outdoor furniture.
- Refrigerator – Test door seals once or twice a year to be sure they are airtight. Test by closing the door over a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill out easily, the seal may need to be replaced. If you have a coil-back fridge, the coils should be vacuumed twice a year.
- Faucets – Check for leaks in kitchen and bathrooms and replace washers as necessary.
- Windows and doors – Replace seals as necessary to keep heat in and drafts out. If you added up all the tiny cracks where heating and cooling escapes, it could be the same as having a window open.
- Siding and paint – Look for cracks or peeling areas. Repaint or replace caulk as necessary.
By Barbara Pronin