You have just bought your dream home! Or you are Planning to List your home on the market. These five simple maintenance skills can help keep your home in good condition, lower your energy costs, and help preserve your home’s value.
1. Change your HVAC Filters Quarterly
Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioners (HVAC) work by sucking air into the compressor and blowing the warm or cold air out through your vents. When this air is sucked in from the compressor or return vents a lot of dust, dirt and hair can be sucked in too. A very simple way to extend the life and quality of your HVAC is by changing the air filter regularly. Different filters recommend different schedules, and you should always read the manufactures instructions.Set a reminder to change the filter on your system and on the same day, pour a cup of bleach or white vinegar into the condensation drain line to kill any mold or mildew.
2. Know Where Your Shut Off Valves Are
One of the very first things you should learn about your home is how to turn the water off. Typically, the master shut off valve, which turns off the water to the entire house, is located in the perimeter of the house with a visible line of sight to the street but might be located inside the home. Most newer homes also have upstream valves which are located closer to the water sources, such as under sinks or next to toilets. These valves allow you to turnoff a smaller portion of your homes water, rather than turning off all the water throughout your entire house. Finding these valves before or shortly after moving into your home saves you from having to search for it if you have a broken pipe and your home is quickly filling with water.
3. Know How to Turn Off the Electricity
It is very easy to overload a circuit or blow a fuse. This is why it is important to know where your circuit breaker box is located. The Breaker Box should be easily identifiable as a large silver or grey panel that is in an unblocked area. It is important to make sure that the breaker box does not have items or furniture blocking it so that it can always be easily accessible. In addition to knowing where to flip a breaker or how to change a fuse, you will also want to know where to locate this box so that you may turn off electricity to a space to change fixtures or perform electrical maintenance. After moving into your home, it is recommended that you check each breaker and be sure that they are correctly labeled.
4. Know How to Change a Lock
When a home is on the market, access to house keys is carefully monitored and tracked, but you have no way of knowing how many keys were made before you bought your house, or who those keys were given to. After moving into a home,it is a good idea to change all of the locks on your home. A hardware store can help you have your locks re-keyed to all operate on the same key, if that is what you want. This is also a handy skill to have if your home is ever broken into or if you lose a key.
5. How to Clean Your Gutters and Adjust Drainage
Clogged gutters or a poor drainage plan can turn your beautiful landscaping into a muddy swamp after one Florida afternoon storm. Knowing how to clean the leaves and debris out of your gutters or installing gutter shields to prevent leaves from building up in your gutters, will prevent the water from overflowing and pouring down into poor drainage areas. You should also look at where the gutters drain out into your yard and adjust their flow pattern or install additional drainage to help the water move quickly away from your home. In addition to being a messy eyesore, when puddles form around your home’s foundation it can cause damage to the foundations and attract pests.