Tips to Monitor and Care for Your Home Systems and Appliances
Owning a home is a measure of personal success, and for some, indicates adult status. In your own home you are able to have pets, let the children play, entertain, and decorate in relative peace. When taking care of your home, remember that with the freedom of home ownership comes the obligation of upkeep to avoid incurring unnecessary expenses later on. That’s why it’s important to regularly monitor your home systems and appliances.
It’s important to keep the rain outside your home, so keeping your roof in good condition is key. After high winds, hail, or a heavy deluge you will want to walk around the house and check that you don’t see any pitted or lifted shingles. If you see tree limbs or other debris, it should be removed and the roof checked for damage. Occasionally you may want to get up on the roof for a closer check, but note that shingles are not designed for lots of traffic. You will also want to keep your gutters clean and open so that they can collect and take runoff away from the roof.
Attics tend to be hot because heat from the living areas of the house rises. Furnaces, air conditioning ducts and appliance vents can all reside in the attic, which can add moisture as well. That’s why it’s a good idea to install a ventilation system to take out the excess heat and humidity. If you see areas on the ceiling indicating seepage from the roof or climate control systems in the attic, you will need to go up to find and stop the leak. The collecting pan or drainage in the heater may have failed, or there may be a small leak in the roof. If these are not fixed quickly they may cause more significant structural damage.
The ashes in your fireplace need to be removed periodically because they build up. When you clean them out you can make sure that the mortar and firebox of the fireplace are still structurally sound. You will also need to have a professional come to clean out the chimney periodically. This is not a do-it-yourself job, because in addition to removing accumulated soot, the chimney sweep will make sure that structure itself is functioning properly. Every year in the U.S. there are a few deaths as a result of chimneys and fireplaces that have not been properly maintained.
Smoke Detectors and Safety Equipment
One of the most important and easy-to-maintain pieces of safety equipment is your smoke detector. Make sure that you check the batteries on the smoke detectors in each room. Often they will begin to beep to signal that the battery is low, but be sure to replace the battery twice a year, regardless. You also need to check the carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers in your home to make sure that both are in working order.
Check Your Refrigerator Doors
Refrigerator doors that are not closed tightly or that leak will raise your energy bills every month. To test the efficiency of the doors on your fridge, place a dollar bill on the edge of the door and then close it. If you can easily remove the dollar from the fridge while the door is closed, the doors need to be repaired or replaced.
As the homeowner, you are the first line of defense for maintaining all the systems and appliances in your home. But if you find any major problems with them you will need to call in a professional. Extensive repairs can be expensive, but you can keep them from breaking the budget by having a home warranty. American Home Shield will send the best service technicians and you will only pay the cost or a service call.