A Homeowner’s Guide to System Checks and Maintenance

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Every homeowner should perform essential maintenance to ensure optimal functionality as well as stave off big repair costs down the line. The maintenance to-do list for a home is often so large that it can overwhelm. Organization is the key to managing it, and most homeowners find it helpful to create a regular inspection and maintenance schedule broken down on a monthly and seasonal basis. With that in mind, let’s touch on the items that all homeowners’ schedules should emphasize.

Testing Your Security Systems for Home

Your security system is one of the most important components of your residence because it helps to protect your family and safeguard your valuables. As a rule of thumb, you should test security systems for home use at least twice a year, but many homeowners choose to do it on a monthly basis. How you test will depend on whether or not your system is monitored. With a monitored system, you’ll want to ensure that the station is receiving proper notification when an alarm triggers.

Practicing Emergency Response Plans

For fire systems, you’ll also need to have a fire evacuation plan and kit in place. When you first implement the plan, it’s a good idea to practice it often. Once the children have it down, you can test and practice the plan once every six months. Be sure to expand your plans to include emergencies such as natural disasters and home invasions. Regularly test your carbon monoxide and fire systems to be sure they’re up to par.

Maintaining Your HVAC System

Regular inspection of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment is very important. The most basic maintenance is changing the air filters. You should change the air filters per the manufacturer’s recommendation, but you should perform a visual inspection each month and replace or clean them if they’re dirty. Each month, perform a visual inspection of all interior and exterior HVAC equipment, and hire an HVAC technician to inspect the entire system just prior to the cold and hot seasons.

Foundation Inspection

Each month perform an exterior and, if applicable, interior foundation inspection. Look for signs of moisture, including dampness and water stains. Inside, inspect walls and piers for any presence of termites. Use the inspection as an opportunity to note the condition of the caulk and all other fillers at all windows and joints, both inside and out.

Flush the Water Heater

Most manufacturers recommend that you flush your water heater once a year. This will not only help extend the life of the unit but also improve consistency and reliability. As a rule of thumb, you should check the pressure valve and flush the tank once a year. It’s a relatively simple and inexpensive task, but homeowners who don’t feel comfortable performing it can hire a plumber each year instead.

Mold Inspection

The most obvious sign of mold is the smell. If you smell it, hire a professional who specializes in mold testing and removal. However, mildew and mold are present long before the mold smell arrives. During your monthly inspection of the home, look for signs of moisture and mildew. Combat any that you find immediately, which can go a long way to preventing ever having a significant mold problem.

Air Quality Review

Inspecting for mold and changing your HVAC air filters are good first steps toward ensuring optimal indoor air quality. On a weekly basis, look for dust build-up, particularly along baseboards. Dust may seem harmless, but it actually acts as a sponge for contaminants and can have a disastrous effect on air quality. When dusting, opt for a damp cloth approach, and when you vacuum, use a unit fitted with a HEPA filter.

Embracing Automation and Integration

Home security is no longer limited to just fire systems or burglary prevention measures. The modern systems can integrate remote door locking devices, remote control of temperature settings, and video cameras. Just make sure that you clean your video cameras on a regular basis for optimal viewing and recording.

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