We expect to live in our homes for a number of years. Those years can be made more care-free if we avoid making mistakes while buying the house and take the time to maintain it. It’s no fun and can be costly when the A/C breaks or water spews all over the kitchen.
We understand that not everyone is a handyman. We know what can happen when a well-meaning homeowner turns the wrong handle trying to fix a leaky tap. For some homeowners, it’s simply best to hire a professional.
Here are five simple home maintenance hacks for massive savings anyone can do.
Clean Your Appliances
Grease, dust, and grime prevent many appliances from performing at optimal levels. Pull large appliances away from walls to dust coils and filter screens. Just dusting the coils on the refrigerator will decrease its energy usage by 30 percent. Pull out any drip pans on older refrigerators and empty them. Get a professional to check the dryer vent for built-up lint that could cause the dryer to work harder which will increase your power bill or cause a house fire.
Use Ceiling Fans
As you’re dusting the blades of your ceiling fan, flip the button so it travels anti-clockwise. In winter, this action pulls cool air up toward the ceiling and pushes warm air around the ceiling down toward you. In summer, you want the fan blades moving anti-clockwise so the push-pull action is reversed which will keep you cool.
Turn off your A/C one or two days per week and use ceiling fans and window fans to circulate the air and blow it outside. Place your window fan in a likely window with the blades pointing out the window. The hot air indoors will be directed toward the window fan by the ceiling fans. You’ll be surprised how cold your house will feel. You’ll be surprised how your power bill goes down.
Clean Your Air Conditioner
HVAC units have filters to catch the dirt and dust in the air so your indoor air quality is its best. The filters are located in the air exchanger in a basement or closet and in the air intake on a wall or in a passage. The fins on the outdoor unit prevent leaves, grass clippings, and dirt from getting into the unit.
The indoor filters need to be changed every three months, with the monthly ones obviously being changed every month. Some brands only have to be changed every six months or even one year. Pleated filters are second best only to HEPA filters. They catch 99 percent more dirt. Use a broom or a garden hose to clean off the fins on the outdoor unit.
The coils on the inside of the unit get dirty, too, but most homeowners don’t know how to even get to it to clean it. Leave that to the professionals, and it will save you lots of money on your power bill.
Plumbing is usually a mystery to homeowners. When a leak happens, all they can do is call the plumber, and this is the right thing to do. However, when the plumber asks where the leak is, almost no one can tell him. Here’s how you can fix that.
Leaks usually start in the bathroom. Other piping and plumbing issues are behind walls or in the yard. Bathrooms contain plumbing you can actually see. Lift the lid on the tank and pour in some red or green food coloring. Wait for an hour. If the water in the bowl is red or green, you have a leak. https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/home-maintenance-tricks-save-money-and-energy/ow you can tell the professional the leak’s location.
Air leaking from windows, doors, and plumbing among other places raise the power bill substantially. Professionals from your power company give free house audits to find these leaks. They’ll find them, caulk them, and you’ll be warmer or cooler as the case may be.
How Much Should You Save Each Year For Maintenance On Your Home?
There are as many answers to this question as there are askers. Some say to budget one percent of the home’s price; if you paid $300,000, then set aside $3,000 per year for maintenance. Others say to set aside one dollar per year for each square foot in the house.
A more accurate answer would be to research the replacement cost of the most important things like the roof, foundation, and HVAC. Research how old these things are right now. Set aside their replacement cost each year before they need replacing. That way, you’re not taking out a second mortgage to cover these things.
Authored by: Ashley Stephan
Authored Bio: My daytime job is working as a graphic designer in a stealth FinTech startup. I spend my evenings learning about home improvement. From time to time I write about these very concepts to share what I’ve learned. My hobbies include swimming, gardening, and binge-watching popular TV shows.
Twitter ID: @AshleyStephan9