Homeowners know the need to periodically check certain things around the home to ensure that things operate properly and efficiently. If maintenance is required, it may be less expensive to take care of it early rather than waiting until it is not working at all.
Checklists are helpful because it requires little effort to know what must be done. They are usually concise and provide enough information to complete the task. These items apply to most homeowners but in no way offer a comprehensive list.
- Vacuum dryer exhaust … not only does it affect the efficiency of your dryer itself, the accumulation of lint along with the hot air can ignite and create a fire hazard.
- Replace HVAC filters 4 to 6 times a year … This is one DIY project that almost everyone should feel confident in handling. Locate the filter, make a note of the size, and keep replacements available. Turn off the unit, open the door or housing, remove the dirty filter, and replace it with the new one. Pay attention to the direction of the air flow; filters are marked to indicate the correct direction.
- Test all GFCI breakers. – GFCI breakers, as well as outlets, have a test button on them. Pressing the test button should cause the breaker to trip which shuts off all power to the entire circuit. To reset the breaker, push it completely to off and then, back to on.
- Vacuum refrigerator coils … Coils on refrigerators can be in different places depending on the model and manufacturer. Locate the coils and clean the dirt and dust from them using a soft bristle brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush.
- Replace batteries in smoke detectors … smoke detectors should be tested monthly by pushing the test button. Annually, the batteries should be replaced, even if they appear to still have life in them. After replacing the batteries, test the smoke detector to see if it is functioning properly.
- Check windows and doors for leaks … There are several ways to check for leaks. One method used on a cold day would be to hold your hand a few inches from the window or door frame to feel for drafts. Another method would be to light a candle and trace the outline of the window or door to see if the flame or smoke pull in one direction, indicating an air leak.
- Inspect all sprinkler system stations to see if heads are leaking or need adjusting. … Manually, turn on each of the stations and look at each sprinkler that is running to see if it is leaking or if it is properly covering the area intended.
- Check garage door opener to see that safety features engage properly … Place a cardboard box in line of one of the sensors before trying to close the door. The door should reverse itself after sensing the obstruction.
- Check and clean fireplace(s) annually, if used … this may be a job that you want to have someone else do but you may be able to recognize indicators that the chimney needs cleaning. These things include evidence of birds or animals; fireplace smells like a campfire; smoke fills the room; difficulty starting or keeping a fire going; the fireplace walls have oily marks; the damper is black with soot and creosote. The frequency of use on wood burning fireplaces will impact the need for cleaning.
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