Regular Annual Maintenance Can Lower the Cost of Home Repair
By doing regular annual maintenance around your home, you can significantly reduce the cost of repairs. Some of the main things that need to be checked are the Heating systems, the Air Conditioner, touch up painting, and if you have any decks, regular power washing at least once a year. In addition, any major appliances should also be inspected to make sure they are still in good operating condition, in order to ensure they are running efficiently.
Every home is different so annual checks and inspections will be as well. For an example, some homes have a separate outdoor installed air conditioner; others have a dual heating and air conditioning system. When it comes to the outdoor models, you need to check and make sure the unit is clear and free from debris, that the condenser fins are not damaged ant the every thing is properly lubricated. If you live in an area where there are winter snows, this should be done in the fall, and the outside unit should always be securely covered before the first snow falls.
Indoor systems should also have the filters replaced on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is that these should be checked and replaced during the spring and fall. You should remove the floor plates from your duct work, and check to make sure these are clear of any debris and dust. Access panels can be removed, belts and pulley checked for tightness, and any areas that can be oiled by you should be. A few things that are important is that you should always turn of the power before attempting any regular maintenance checks, and ready your owner’s manual first.
Now while there are many aspects of maintenance that you can do yourself, some things should be left to professionals. It is a good idea to contact a reputable appliance service technician and get on an annual inspection program. They come in and check things that you don’t have access to, like internal electronics. A qualified technician can also identify problems more easily that you can, keeping small things from becoming large repairs. They also have the tools to do a more thorough inspection of your duct work.
For major appliances, refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines, you should pull these out at least once a year to check for fraying wiring, leaking connections and replace them as needed. Make sure that the dryer exhaust duct is clean, because a clogged duct can make your dryer work harder, and take more energy to dry your clothes. It is also a good idea to run a special cleaning agent through both your clothes washer, as well as you dishwasher, especially if you live in areas that have hard water. These cleaning agents are designed to break down deposits that have built up, and make your appliances run more efficiently.
Even with all of these maintenance steps, there are going to be times when your appliances break down. If you don’t already have it, you should consider appliance insurance. This is not the same as homeowner’s insurance. It covers repairs and replacement to your major appliances through normal wear and tear, or even emergencies. Homeowner’s insurance only covers them if they are damages in direct result to a fire or flood, and whatever else you have coverage for, not general repairs.