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These days, every homeowner out there is looking for ways to cut down on their bills and save money. That’s why more and more people are taking on their own home upkeep: preventative maintenance can really save you money and hassle down the road. In this article, we’ll review the most essential home maintenance tasks you should complete this year, as well as what home maintenance projects you can complete yourself.
As it turns out, preventative maintenance can, in fact, prevent its fair share of problems in your home. If you put the time and money into your home’s needed upkeep and maintenance, it’ll pay off down the road. Here are just a few scenarios where preventative maintenance can really make a big difference:
- HVAC Maintenance: Seasonal tune-ups for both your air conditioner and furnace not only help prevent breakdowns, but can also make your cooling and heating much more efficient, which translates to lower monthly utility bills. When it comes to your home’s air conditioner repair and tune-up needs, always work with certified technicians from a trustworthy company—they’ll have the right tools and training to properly care for your AC unit.
- Roofing: You’d probably agree that, in many respects, a roof makes a house a home. Roofing issues tend to start slow and small, and then grow into major, expensive projects as time goes on. It’s important to stay on top of (no pun intended!) your roof. Replace missing shingles or fallen tiles quickly, and have a professional out as soon as possible to deal with any leaks. You’ll also want to double-check that your gutters are clean and working as intended.
- Plumbing: You probably don’t spend too much time worrying about your home’s pipes, fixtures, and lines, and—until something goes wrong—you probably don’t need to. However, some preventative maintenance in this area is warranted. You should drain and flush your water heater at least once-per-year, and perform similar maintenance on your sump pump to ensure it continues protecting your basement from moisture.
When you’re looking to cut costs and save money, it’s tempting to cut corners. However, one thing you should never compromise on is the quality of contractors you hire. As any homeowner who has made this mistake before can tell you, hiring an unqualified, unlicensed, or untrustworthy contractor is an expensive and potentially disastrous mistake you’ll likely only make once. The lowest project bid isn’t the best project bid.
Instead, put the time and effort into hiring the right professionals. Here are a few tips:
- Ask for references to prior clients who are willing to attest to the quality of their work.
- Ask about their licenses and—especially for plumbers and electricians—their state certification.
- Ask questions—a good contractor who knows their stuff will gladly share what they know with homeowners.
- Check out their online reviews. Even a good contractor will get 1-2 bad reviews every now and then, but consistently poor reviews indicate a serious problem.
In general, you need to leave the major work (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, etc.) to the pros. However, even new homeowners can take on the majority of home maintenance projects themselves. In fact, you can really cut down on your monthly spending by:
- Caring for your own landscaping
- Taking care of your own pool
- Cleaning your own carpets
- Painting your own home
- Installing your own floors
- Caring for your home’s gutters and downspouts
These days, taking care of your own home is easier than ever thanks to online videos and how-to guides. For even more ideas for how to care for your home and start saving money, check out this new infographic from the team at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing in Hayward, CA.