Home Home

5 Ways to Care for Your Home Year-Round

If you’ve owned your home for a few years, you may have noticed that things start to fall apart rather quickly when not properly maintained. Or, maybe you’ve just purchased your home, and you’re wondering what types of year-round maintenance your investment needs to keep it in good shape. Either way, in almost every case, prevention is easier to deal with than repair. Follow the strategies outlined here, and you could save yourself time and money in the future.

1. Clean and Update Your Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

In many parts of the United States, people have to run their heaters during the winter and their air conditioners during the summer. And with the extreme weather shifts this country has seen, you may be running them earlier and later each season than usual. Furthermore, if you have a fireplace and ceiling fans, you’re likely keeping them in use as well. To ensure those necessary parts of your household continue to function well, keep them cleaned and updated.

You can have an HVAC company come out to your home seasonally to check and clean your cooling and heat pump systems. Clean and sweep your fireplace and flue once a year in the fall. And don’t forget to clean your ceiling fans. Also, flip the switch on your fan to make the blades rotate counterclockwise during the summer. This helps push cool air down and throughout the room. During winter, your blades should spin clockwise to create an updraft and circulate warm air. 

2. Get on the Roof

You’ve probably already heard that you need to have your roof checked twice a year. A great roof can last up to 50 years, but if you’re not having it checked regularly, its lifespan could be much shorter. There could be damage to your roof you don’t even know about. Once that damage multiplies, it could eventually destroy your roof, costing thousands of dollars to repair or replace. 

Instead, find a reputable roofing company in your area to come check your roof, once in the fall and once in the spring. On average, this service will cost you a couple hundred dollars — huge savings in the long run. While you’re thinking of your roof, you can also get up there and clean your gutters out. (You could also hire a landscaper or handyman to do it.) Clean gutters will flow freely instead of clogging and placing a potential burden on your roof. 

3. Run Necessary Tests

So, you did your due diligence and got all your smoke detectors installed. You may even have an alarm system in place. Now, you find you never need them. The funny thing about those kinds of systems is that you don’t know you need them until an emergency. If someone breaks into your home, or an electrical fire starts in the middle of the night, you’ll want those systems up and running as expected. 

To ensure your alarms and smoke detectors are functioning, you should run monthly tests. It typically only takes a few seconds to test your smoke detectors with the test button. To test your alarm, call the company that services your system and let them know you’re running a test. Then, set the alarm as you normally would, allowing the delay time to run out, and open a door or window attached to the system. Then call the company back to be sure they got the signal. 

4. Get the Pressure Washer Out

Some of the nicest houses look dingy and old simply because they don’t get cleaned regularly. The siding on your house, gutters and drainpipes, patios, porches, decks, and even sidewalks will get covered with mud, pollen, and debris from fall through spring. Then, the heat of summer will cake that dirt into your property so it looks permanent. This same situation can occur with patio furniture, grills, and anything else that lives outside. 

Your best bet to keep your home fresh and clean all year is to invest in a pressure washer. For around $250, you can get a good quality pressure washer that will clean the grime off of your appliances, furniture, and the siding on your house in a relatively short time. Take your time and move the hose slowly over the area to be cleaned, and it will be like watching a magic eraser get rid of the dirt.

5. Check Weatherstripping and Seals

Last but not least, you should check the weatherstripping and seals on your doors and windows twice a year. While you might think of weatherstripping as essential to keeping the cold out during the winter, it also keeps the heat out during the summer. The same goes for the seals on your windows and doors. You don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars more on heating and cooling bills because of poor seals. 

Instead, around your house and property and inspect the windows and doors. During the day, stand inside each door that leads outside and look for any cracks or gaps that allow light to enter. Those are the areas that will need new weatherstripping. For windows, on a cold day, get your hand wet and hold your damp hand up to the casings of the window. If you feel cold air coming in, you know you have an area that needs to be sealed. 

These tips are an excellent start to keeping your home in good order all year long. They will become part and parcel of being a homeowner, and you will start to schedule your inspection days regularly. Either you can have a professional do the work, like inspecting your roof, or you can do most of the DIY work on your own. Then, you can enjoy each season in your home and on your property relaxed and worry-free when it comes to your investment.