A lot of time and work goes into keeping your home in tip-top shape and with all of the things to do and check on, you’re bound to miss a few. Here are a few reminders of some home maintenance items that are often forgotten.
1 – HVAC tune-ups – Did you know that regular maintenance of an air conditioner or furnace can extend the life by up to 10 years? According to industry statistics, 70% of all mechanical failures of major appliances result from a lack of annual maintenance…and it’s an inexpensive process! Most companies charge less than $100 to tune up the AC and furnace which is money well-spent. Also, make sure to change out the air filter on the furnace once per month.
2 – Drain Your Water Heater – Want to extend the life of your water heater? Once per year, drain off about 10 gallons. (see photo) Sediments in the water drop to the bottom of the tank, leading to corrosion and rusting. The ten gallons you drain off comes directly from the bottom of the tank which means no more sediment and less corrosion and rusting.
3 – Clean Your Disposal – Another preventive maintenance practice is cleaning the garbage disposal. Take an ice tray and fill it with vinegar. Freeze it into cubes, then grind them in the disposal. The vinegar will clean the buildup of food decay, and the ice cubes will actually sharpen the blades of the grinder.
4 – Clean Your Dryer Vent Duct – Lint build-up in dryer vent ductwork is one of the leading cause of house fires, and that’s why you need to clean out your dryer vent’s ductwork every six months. Even if a blocked duct doesn’t burn your house down, it can extend drying times or make your house smell weird.
If the ductwork is extensive, you might need the help of a professional to clean it out, especially if it has a lot of bends and turns. But if the ductwork leads pretty much right outside from where it connects to your dryer, you can probably clean it out yourself. Disconnect the ductwork from the back of your dryer and use a shop vacuum to suck built-up lint out of the duct. Don’t forget to check the vent where it exits the house, too. Sometimes, birds or other small animals nest in the opening of the duct outside, so make sure it’s covered so they can’t access it.
The old adage “Pay me now, or pay me later.” is never more true when it comes to little things you can do around the house to help things run more efficiently and inexpensively!