Yearly Household Checklist: Maintenance, Replacements, And Chores Around The Home

Checklist to use for maintenance, replacements, and chores around your house once a year.

There are many things around the house that need to be checked regularly. We'll provide you with a basic guideline of what to check, maintain or replace. You especially want to check the most vital parts of the house such as the appliances, permanent fixtures and personal items because they are usually the most important and expensive items. So they need to be in good working condition.

1. You can check your air conditioning unit every month to change out the filter. This is easily accessible behind the front panel. All you need to do is remove the panel, take off the latch holding the filter in and sliding it out. If you often have animals around the house it may be a good idea to replace the filter twice a month.

2. Test your dishwasher to make sure the sprayers are not getting clogged. Just to make sure, you can pour about a cup of vinegar over the sprayers and let it stay for about 20-30 minutes. This should eliminate any buildup. After the 20-30 minutes, run a dishwashing cycle with nothing in it.

3. Your refrigerator is also a very important household item. There is not much you can do with it except for checking to see if anyone had changed the temperature settings on the inside pane of the door. The refrigerator has an outlet at the top far corner that lets the cold air from the freezer in. You can stick a toothpick in the holes to make sure there is not a clog

4. Another good idea would be to check your air ducts. Check to see if there is any obstruction or maybe they need to be open or closed more. Are they clean? Allergies can wreck someone's day, so frequently clean around and disinfect the ducts.

5. Ceiling fans are another source of allergens. If you leave your fans running all the time it is almost impossible to see the dust collecting on the blades. Turn the fan off and get a rag with dusting spray. Take off the bulk of dust and wipe the finer particles with the damp dust-cloth. Clean around the vents for the motor also. The dust can bog down the motor and possibly cause it use more energy or burn out before you get enough use out of it.

6. Rearrange your furniture. Move your furniture to a different location and vacuum or dust around it. It is not hard to forget to move around the furniture and vacuum behind the couch or wipe off of a low windowsill.

7. Check your water heater. It may be losing precious heat if it is not wrapped up. Local home improvement stores sell customized water heater blankets so they can retain their heat and not cost more to operate. Doing this can also improve the working quality of the heating elements because they will not be heating as often. You can also insulate the water supply lines. They are usually copper lines so it is easy to see if they are insulated enough because they will be "sweating."

8. Check your attic also. Maybe an animal had gotten up in your attic and cleared away some insulation to sleep. Make sure you insulation is covering the downstairs ceiling and also make sure insulation is covering the areas around vents and other fixtures coming out from the ceiling. You can waste energy by having the heat or air conditioning seep through the cracks and into the attic space. Tape can also be used to install around vents and fixtures to seal the cracks.

9. In the summer you can protect your foundation by running soaker hoses around the entire length of the house. Hook them up to each other and attach to an outside faucet and let them soak for an hour or two. Depending on your climate, times may vary.

10. Look under all of your sinks and make sure there are not any leaks. If leaks go undetected for awhile then they can start to grow mold. Mold can cause some serious health problems so make this a priority.

11. Make sure all exterior lights are working properly. Security should be important for you and your family. Make sure your house alarm battery is working properly.

12. Check to see if you are wasting any water outside and inside. Outside faucets can easily be overlooked because we rarely use. Toilets can constantly run if the flapper does not reset well. Inside the toilets you can check the seals and gaskets around the flapper and water float to make sure they are not rotting or just wearing away. These items are very easy to re-install. You need to check if the shower or tub is leaking. If the showerhead is leaking then the cartridge in the tub faucet needs replacing or the bathtub spigot needs replacement. You will need to get an instruction manual for the replacement parts and procedures because every model is different and turning the water off in any home can be tricky.

13. Finally you can get up on the roof and inspect your roof. Check to see if there is any loss of granules due to abundant rains or hail. Some roofs may have a discoloration. The discoloration does not harm the shingles themselves, but it is pretty much an eye sore. Check the edges of the shingles because if there is a tear in the any of them when it rains the water could possibly fall between the cracks causing the fascia to rot.

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