You’re probably pretty busy, right? Most people are, and one of the things that tends to fall by the wayside when we’re busy is home maintenance.
Home maintenance, just like car maintenance, can help prolong the life and enjoyment of a substantial investment. But it can be intimidating to try to find time to do all the maintenance tasks you can possibly find online.
Here’s a brief list of some of the most important ones for Oklahomans. For me, I find it’s really helpful to schedule out when I’m going to do these tasks well in advance, so I’m not wondering when it’s time (and stressing if I’ve forgotten).
Real fireplaces should be cleaned at least once a year. Creosote forms over time, lining the flue, and as little as 1/8th of an inch can lead to a chimney fire.
Drain your water heater once a year to remove sediment from the tank. Sediment forms from hard water, and if you aren’t draining the tank, those particles will build up over time and reduce the capacity to store water.
Your gutters help prevent the ground immediately around your home for getting waterlogged and risking foundation damage. Removing leaves, twigs, and other debris when they build up helps your gutters do their job.
Replacing air filters helps prolong the life of your HVAC unit and prevent premature compressor failure (which can cost you up to $10,000!). At minimum, these should be replaced every quarter, although most homes benefit from more frequent replacement.
Check the batteries at least once a quarter to make sure they’re working properly—do the same for carbon monoxide detectors if you have them. It’s a good idea to replace the batteries once a year.
If you don’t have a couple of these in your home, what are you waiting for? Check the expiration dates and replace when necessary (they typically expire five to ten years after they were manufactured). Check for signs of any visible damage or corrosion every month.
Detergent residue, dirt, and even sand can build up in your washer, making it dirty and even sometimes smelly. Run your washer once a month with hot water and bleach (with no clothes) to disinfect and remove odors. Wipe off any dirt or sand with a wet rag.
To make sure these home maintenance items get finished when they need to, I recommend using a calendar app—Google, Outlook, whatever you’re most comfortable with—and setting reminders.
This is especially helpful for those tasks that have to be done periodically, like changing your air filters. You won’t have to spend energy trying to remember the last time you did a certain home maintenance task, and you’ll be able to rest assured that your home is in good condition.