A Guide to Maintaining Your Home’s Systems

Making time during the evening or weekend to perform preventative maintenance on your appliances, drains, and other systems may not be at the top of your list of enjoyable pastimes. But keeping up with these cleanings enables your home to operate smoothly. Additionally, staying on top of tasks can save you money in the long run. If an appliance such as your refrigerator or dryer breaks, you’ll probably spend a bundle having them repaired or replaced as you don’t have much time for comparison shopping. With that in mind, use this guide to help you establish a schedule that helps your home function efficiently.


Keep your HVAC filters clean.

Changing your heating and air conditioner system’s filters not only reduces energy costs but it will keep your air cleaner, and extend the life of your system. The easiest way to stay up to date with your HVAC maintenance is to change your filters every three months. To figure out the best way to do it, refer to your system’s manual. Or, hire a professional who’ll have it operating optimally.


Clean your dryer vents

When you’re doing load after load of laundry, you may be tempted to skip cleaning the dryer vent. Though it might not sound dangerous, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated five deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. Ensuring that your dryer vents, lines, and screens are free of lint is crucial because build-up in any of these places can start a fire. Be sure to clean the lint out of the lint screen after every use and also check the vent outside your home to make sure lint isn’t collecting and clogging there as well.


Clean the condenser coils on your refrigerator

Most of us visit the refrigerator countless times per day. When you think about cleaning the appliance, you may be picturing rinsing those glass shelves, but more important is the task of removing dirt and dust from the condenser coils as often as every three to six months, and more frequently if you have pets. If your fridge’s coils are dirty, your fridge isn’t operating efficiently, which means bigger utility bills, and possibly a shorter life expectancy for your appliance. To clean the coils, unplug your fridge, pull it away from the wall, and locate your condescender coils at the back of the fridge. Using a soft bristle brush or handheld vacuum, remove the dust. Simply cleaning the coils can improve your unit’s efficiency by as much as 30 percent.


Clean your tub drain

A clogged drain will ruin your shower or bathing experience. Once a month remove your tub’s drain cover to remove hair and debris that collects there and ultimately limits water drainage. This task can be easily accomplished by using the hook of a wire hanger. If you’d prefer, pick up a plastic drain snake at a home improvement or hardware store. 


Check and clean gutters

Depending on how many large trees form a canopy over your home, you’ll want to clean your gutters either quarterly or twice a year. Once your gutters become clogged with leaves and dirt, they may overflow which often leads to water damage. Cleaning your gutters is simple and straightforward, but you will need the right tool and a ladder. If this project sounds too involved or dangerous due to the height of your home, consider hiring a professional.