What Every Home Needs: a Preventative Maintenance Checklist

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This post is sponsored by Parmida LED Technologies

It’s a brand new year and there’s no better time to get your home in tip-top shape than in January!

It was one thing when we lived in an apartment or even when we owned the condo and didn’t have to worry about a ton of maintenance issues. If anything major came up, most of them were handled by the property manager or the Home Owners Association (HOA). However, now that we own our current home – it’s something that’s top of mind because if something goes south, it’s on us to repair it!

After a few instances of “when’s the last time we changed the air filter?” or “we should probably test the smoke detectors!” we decided it would be a good idea to put together a master list of preventative maintenance tasks so that there were no questions as to when we changed the air filter last and so our home would remain on a well maintained schedule.

Funny enough, this is exactly the type of work I do at my 9-5 so creating a well scheduled preventative maintenance checklist is what I do best. The idea of preventative maintenance is to regularly perform certain tasks on a piece of equipment to lessen the likelihood of failure. The checklist I’ve complied today are all home tasks we should all be doing to prolong any catastrophic equipment failures and/or promote longevity in our home wares and equipment.

Let’s jump right in and take a look at every task every homeowner should be doing around the home:

REPLACE FILTERS + CLEAN VENTS (Quarterly)

I’m so embarrassed to admit that this is what our air filter looked like prior to us changing it recently. Gross! We hadn’t changed it since we took ownership in April and who knows how long it had been since the previous owners had changed it either.

Air filters help clean the air and remove allergens – no wonder we’ve have a few rounds of sickness since living here!

DEEP CLEAN MAJOR APPLIANCES (Quarterly)

One thing we’ve realized since moving into our home is how thankful we are to have gotten a home warranty when we purchased. It’s already been so valuable in the 9 months that we’ve lived here when the motor on our dishwasher started grinding, the garbage disposal started leaking, and the oven wouldn’t self clean. When our safety net expires this April, it’ll be on us to maintain our major appliances and keep them in working order or we’ll be shelling out thousands to replace them.

After a little bit of research, I found these helpful tutorials that we all should be performing on our major appliances to keep them in good working order for the long haul:

Dishwasher: https://www.cleancult.com/blog/how-to-deep-clean-your-dishwasher/

Oven: https://www.marthastewart.com/1062857/how-clean-oven

Garbage Disposal: https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/how-to-deep-clean-a-garbage-disposal-and-why-you-need-to/

Refrigerator: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/smarter-living/how-to-clean-your-fridge.html

CLEAN OUT DRYER VENT (Quarterly)

I never knew this was something that should be cleaned until I read a news article about a garage that caught fire due to a clogged dryer vent. Considering how often we’re doing laundry around here, the sheer thought of this happening to us sent chills down my spine.

This website has a detailed tutorial how to do it.

TEST SMOKE DETECTORS & REPLACE BATTERIES (Bi-Annually)

There’s nothing more alarming (and annoying) than being woken from a dead sleep to the chirping of a fire alarm in need of batteries. Thankfully our house is small and we don’t have many smoke detectors but I’ve heard horror stories of middle of the night seek and find missions from people who couldn’t find which smoke detector had gone rouge. Don’t let that be you!

Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors bi-annually and while you’re at it, push the test button and make sure they’ll all still sound the alarm in case of a fire!

CLEAN GUTTER / ROOF DEBRIS (Bi-Annually)

This is something we haven’t done yet but really should. We first noticed some leaf and needle debris up on the roof and in the gutters while we were putting up Christmas lights late last year, but it’s definitely something we all should do regularly to prevent water from sitting or backing up on our roofs.

The more trees on your property could require you to clean your roof and gutters more often but a good rule of thumb is to clean them twice a year in Spring and in Fall.

SWITCH / UPGRADE TO LED BULBS (Annually)

Last year we had an electrician install an electric vehicle charging station in our garage and that addition maxed out the capacity in our main electrical panel for any further electrical improvements / additions to the house. He recommended that we convert all our lighting over to LED to not only save on our electric bill each month but to free up space in our main panel and give us a little wiggle room going forward. The switch can be costly to do at once but this year we committed to switching all our recessed lights and bulbs to LED per his recommendation.

We partnered with Parmida LED technologies this year to fully convert our house over to LED because of their high quality products that are easy to install. With nearly 12 foot ceilings in our living area, we needed an install that would be straight forward and effortless.

Installing is as simple as removing your old cans, screwing in the Parmida LED recessed cans, pushing the recessed light and wiring up into the ceiling, and giving the whole can a little twist for a super snug fit. We installed these in 3000k and love the way they look!

Not only is LED more energy efficient but once you’ve made the conversion, you literally never have to think about it for years to come! Whether you make the switch in one fell swoop or do it room by room – add this task to your yearly Preventative Maintenance checklist until you’re fully converted to LED and reap the savings forever!

REPAIR / REPLACE ANY DAMAGED SCREENS (Annually)

Before Spring/Summer arrives, now is a great time to go around and check for and repair any rips or tears in your screens so that when warmer weather arrives, you’ll be able to throw open those windows and enjoy the breeze rolling through.

HAVE YOUR CHIMNEY SWEPT (Annually)

This is our first home with a fireplace so having an annual chimney sweep has made it’s way onto our preventative maintenance checklist because much like cleaning your dryer vents, a sooty chimney can cause fires and other critters can take refuge inside and block smoke from exiting. It’s probably a good idea to have your chimney swept before every cold season hits to ensure your fireplace is safe for use all winter long.

GREASE HINGES / TRACKS / RAILS (Annually)

Nothing can wake a sleeping baby like a squeaky hinge. Think of all the times you’ve opened and closed your interior doors or garage door – a little lubrication helps to keep things operating smoothly and silently. This is what we use and love.

CLEAN BASEBOARDS + TOUCH UP PAINT (Annually)

A well loved house takes a beating (especially if you have young kiddos) so I like to go around at least once a year and touch up any nicks, dings, or scuff marks from years past. Now is also a good time to patch and paint any extra holes from re-arranged wall decor and get your walls looking new again!

My sample pots that I get to test paint colors before I commit are great for this task!

I’m looking forward to getting all these tasks checked off before the end of the month and preparing our home for the year ahead. Is there anything we’re missing that we should be doing? Let us know in the comments below!

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