Proper maintenance of the home and appliances will prevent costly repairs or replacements and will add to the
efficiency with which your home runs. Here are a few items to keep an eye on that may be slipping under your home-maintenance radar.
The Water Heater
Sediment gathers at the bottom of your water heater and this may reduce its longevity and prevent it from operating as efficiently as it should. Get a professional to service your water heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions and drain the sediment annually.
Regularly clean and check your gutters for damage. Gutters that have pulled away from the fascia can be the result of too much weight, snow or weather damage. This causes a problem as water will drain between the gutter and roof causing water damage or allowing water to enter the wall system where it can lead to mold and mildew.
Clean your gutters regularly, especially in the fall when leaves are more likely to clog them. Gutters which are clogged do not allow snow melt to drain effectively. This may lead to water pooling on the roof which can form ice dams. As the water freezes, it pushes in under the shingles and damages the roof.
Maintaining your furnace not only helps to keep it functioning optimally, it also extends its life. Furnace maintenance should include checking air filters regularly and replacing them as needed. Clean vents and ensure that they are free from obstruction.
Clean ducting and chimney annually and inspect outside flue from time to time to ensure that it is not clogged.
Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust. Remove the cover from the air handler and check that the blower belt is in good working order. A cracked or loose belt can reduce furnace efficiency. A few drops of oil on moving parts will also improve efficiency. Vacuum the grills on cold air returns as they collect dust and other debris that reduces the air flow required by the furnace.