When you own a home, there are many things that can happen that may require added expense and time to resolve. Whether you’re a current homeowner or have just purchased your first home, there are important things that you should know to ensure an efficient, well-managed house. To help maintain an efficient home, below is a list of 7 things every homeowner should know.
- Identifying potential problems in your home
Home maintenance is essential to properly maintaining a home. Detecting minor issues is key to preventing future expensive repairs or problems. Inspect your home and property carefully to look for such issues as: leaky roof, cracked foundation, basement leaks and flooding, cracked or broken plumbing pipes, damp walls and ceiling, and drafts around windows and doors as well as drafts coming in through attic. If you catch some of these issues early enough, you may be able to do the repair yourself, or it will be much cheaper to hire a repair professional.
- Keep your furnace operating efficiently
Replacing a furnace can be very expensive. There are a number of things you can do to maintain your furnace in order to extend its life. Replacing the filters monthly really helps and it keeps the indoor air healthy for the family. As well, hiring a professional once each year to clean the furnace and duct system is much cheaper than fixing or replacing a furnace. For your HVAC system, the HVAC owner’s manual will tell you how often you should change the air filters in your system.
- how to turn off the main water valve
Unfortunately, many homeowners have returned from vacation or woke up one morning to find their basement flooded with water. Before calling a plumber for an emergency visit, it is important to turn off the water valve to stop the flooding. Homeowners should know the location of the main water valve so they can turn it off during an emergency. It is wise to turn off the main water valve when you go away for a while so you avoid facing an expensive mess to resolve when you return. While identifying the water valve, it is also beneficial to know where to turn off the power.
- Maintain clothes dryer vents
If you don’t maintain your clothes dryer, it will work harder which will consume more energy, and the dryer can eventually break down. Stronger odors and longer dry times are two indications your vent is plugged. Clean the dryer vents of lint and material to avoid wasting energy and possibly create a fire hazard. It is also important to keep the ducts clean to avoid clogs. You’ll have to remove the vent from the back of the dryer to clean it. A wet/dry vac will remove debris from the ducts.
- Maintaining Water Heater Temperature
It is important to know how to adjust your water heater as it can save you money on your energy bill. When away, many homeowners will turn the water heater temperature down to keep the heater from burning energy when no one is home. The large temperature dial is usually located at the base of your water heater. Upon return, you can turn it back up to the correct temperature.
- How to program your thermostat
Heating and cooling your home accounts for nearly half of a home total energy consumption. The HVAC system is the major contributor to the high energy usage. A programmable thermostat is an excellent way to control energy consumption allowing you to save money and help to ensure the HVAC system is not overworked. A smart thermostat will learn your temperature preferences and automatically adjust the temperature when you’re away so you save energy and money without giving up comfort.
- How to Clean Rain Gutters
Gutters divert rainwater from the roof away from the foundation of the house. The gutters under your roof edge can fill with leaves, small branch pieces, and other debris .This can eventually cause damage to your roof, or water can leak inside the home, often through the attic. There are many experts that recommend homeowners clean their gutters twice a year.
Know the Benefits of a Home Warranty Plan
A home warranty is an excellent way to protect appliances and home systems. A home warranty normally covers mechanical failures or breakdowns due to normal wear and tear of your home appliances or major systems – heat/air conditioning, plumbing, electric, kitchen appliances, etc, depending upon the plan and options that you select. The warranty guarantees to the homeowner that if something that is covered by the home warranty plan stops working or breaks down then it will be repaired or replaced by the warranty company, subject to the terms and conditions of the contract.
By being aware of the key things every homeowner should know about maintaining their home, along with having a home warranty plan, you will have peace of mind knowing you are protecting a major life investment.