Homeowners enjoy several great advantages over renters when it comes to their living arrangements. As property owners, they’re free to make any changes they see fit at any time, they have a great financial asset that can build equity, and they even have a place they can retire to without worrying about a landlord kicking them out for any reason. Possibly the biggest downside of homeownership is that freedom also brings greater responsibility. You have to take care of your own maintenance, and you’ll be responsible for repairs once things start to break down.
It’s a great idea to keep a monthly home maintenance checklist so that you can keep on top of minor problems before they turn into major ones. Of course, it’s hard to keep up proper maintenance on a system if you don’t know about all its functions or the signs that it’s close to failing. Here are a few lesser-known facts about home maintenance, so you can address issues as they occur and keep costly repairs to a minimum.
If you have a basement, you need a sump pump.
Floods are absolute disasters for homes. Water damage can be one of the most difficult things for a homeowner to deal with. Not only can flooding destroy your carpets, rot your floors, and wreak havoc on your electrical work, but it also brings in contaminants that can have long-term health implications.
Mold is difficult enough to keep at bay with simple humidity—add a flood in your home, and you could have severe issues. You can always add flood coverage to your homeowners’ insurance, but a sump pump could save you from flooding in the first place.
If your home has a basement, then you probably already have a sump pump installed. This goes to the lowest point of your house and will remain on standby until excess groundwater starts to rise up toward the pump. If it works properly, it will begin redirecting the excess water into a storm drain or other designated area. If you don’t remember to regularly test the pump, however, it may fail when you need it the most, and you’ll be left with a flooded home and all that that entails.
You need to clean your refrigerator coils.
Your refrigerator is an easy appliance to take for granted. As long as it seems to be working properly, there’s nothing to worry about, right? Not necessarily. If you’ve never made a habit of cleaning its refrigeration coils, then the compressor could be on the verge of giving out, resulting in a costly repair service. As part of your regular maintenance, make sure to clean these coils with a brush and vacuum. This will maintain peak performance for much longer.
Never forget about your HVAC system.
Speaking of coils, it’s always important to check your air conditioner before summer and your heat pump before winter. If these things fail, you’ll be in for a rough season. Even if you have a system that’s easy to maintain, like a ductless mini-split system, you still need to know how to look out for signs that your ductless mini-split system is malfunctioning. If you ignore these signs, you may have to replace the entire system.
If you notice anything like a tricky thermostat, increasing energy bills with no apparent cause, decreased AC output, or strange noises coming from indoor or outdoor units, you’ll need to have a technician come to look at your ductless system right away. It could be something as simple as your AC unit running out of refrigerant, or you could have a serious malfunction, like an electrical issue. Never try to fix anything electrical yourself, as you could put your safety at serious risk.
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