You’ve finally closed on your first, new home and are walking away with the keys in your hands – finally!! This is certainly a day to celebrate, but if you are a former renter turned first-time homeowner, then you’ll want to make sure you don’t forget about some of the maintenance items that will now be your responsibility. Neglecting these often overlooked items could wind up costing you big time! Thankfully Covenant has your back and would like to share 5 useful maintenance tips to ensure you don’t end up paying more down the road.
1. HVAC got you hot? Keep your cool…
Being able to heat and cool your home at the touch of a button is one of modern life’s awesome conveniences, especially when you consider the smart home technology that allows you to control it from your smartphone. Sometimes though we have to remember to be smart about the maintenance that is involved. Your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) often consists of a furnace and air conditioning unit, with the furnace in your home’s basement or attic, and the A/C unit outside the home. Make sure you:
- replace disposable filters at least every six months
- and when the weather changes, hire a pro to come look over your system to ensure everything is tuned up and in working order. (Some companies offer a yearly maintenance package option that provides you with at least two visits a year.)
2. Are You Pumped About Your Sump?
Just because you are not technically living in a “flood zone,” your home can randomly take on water for many different reasons. If water shows up uninvited, a well-maintained sump pump is your home’s best friend. In fact, many builders on new construction automatically include them when building a new home to be proactive.
Even if your sump pump does not run often, make sure you periodically test it out by pouring water into the crock to ensure the pump kicks on and pushes the water out. This will also ensure the bobber that measures the water level doesn’t get stuck and cause a malfunction. Depending on how often your sump pump runs, it may need to be replaced every 4-6 years.
If you really want to protect yourself from potential flooding, ensure you have a battery backup or a water-pressure assisted backup sump pump in case your power goes out during a bad thunderstorm.
3. A Clogged Drain Can Be a Pain!
When’s the last time you thought about your plumbing? It’s probably one of the last things on your mind! Since your plumbing is mostly out-of-sight, most people don’t give it a second thought but trust us, you don’t realize how much it matters until it stops functioning properly.
Issues with tree roots are common in the Louisville area so it may be wise to have the waste line inspected before purchasing your next home. Nature usually wins when tree roots and drain pipes meet up.
Older houses may have clay or terra-cotta pipes, instead of the newer PVC pipes that are common in newer homes. These older pipes have a tendency to collapse over time which can cause all sources of water to back up into your home – sewer water is no fun! Copper pipes for water supply were also common back-in-the-day during construction. The problem is over time they can corrode and begin to leak, so replacing them with newer “Pex” is always advisable.
4. Don’t Forget About Your Appliances.
Remember the days of having to wash dishes by hand?! Oh, how we are spoiled nowadays. Machines, like dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines, are set to fail at some point in the future, but regular maintenance may prolong the life to ensure you get your money’s worth out of them.
Also, considering a home warranty may be a good idea to ensure you have coverage in the event your an appliance does go out. Not all home warranty plans are created equal so be sure to check with your Covenant agent to see what all is covered if you opt to get coverage.
5. Your Home Has to Breathe Too: Clean Your Ducts and Vents Periodically
You’d be surprised how quickly your air ducts and vents can get dirty with dust, mold, pollen and animal hair if you have pets. Before you first move into a new home, and every few years hire a pro to clean your home’s HVAC ducts to clear out allergens and allow the air to pass through more easily. This will maximize the HVAC system and could save you money on your electricity bill.
One of the most common causes of house fires is a clogged dryer vent!! It’s easy to assume your lint trap gets everything, but this is an incorrect assumption that comes with a fire hazard attached to it. Make sure the dryer vent is cleaned out periodically to ensure your dryer is venting as needed.
As with anything pertaining to your home, when in doubt, put down your tools, pick up the phone, and get a professional to assess the situation for you. Covenant is here to help! Contact us for all of your homeowning needs.