All homeowners need to think proactively about home maintenance, from cleaning out the gutters to changing the air filters in the HVAC unit. A better, more consistent home maintenance plan will provide you with several benefits, including:
- A cleaner house. A well-maintained home is going to be cleaner and better organized. You might even benefit from cleaner air inside the home.
- Higher efficiency and reliability. HVAC maintenance and appliance maintenance can help all your equipment run more efficiently and reliably. As a result, you’ll face lower utility bills and will be far less likely to suffer an unexpected outage.
- Lower long-term costs. Maintenance is all about catching issues while they’re small and relatively inconsequential – before they grow large, cumbersome, and expensive. If you’re consistent with home maintenance, you’ll face fewer costs over the long term.
- Longer lifespans for your equipment. Similarly, keeping your home and your equipment in better shape can lead to longer lifespans for your equipment. You’ll get more years of life out of everything you purchase.
The problem is, home maintenance is easy to forget – and easy to gloss over. If you want to do a better job of keeping up with that maintenance, you’ll need to have a plan in place.
How to Keep Up With Home Maintenance
These are some of the best ways to stay on top of your home maintenance.
- Hire a professional (or several). One of your best options is to hire a professional company to take care of home maintenance on your behalf. For example, you can hire a professional HVAC team to handle all your HVAC maintenance on an annual or semi-annual basis. This way, you won’t have to remember when it’s time for another round of maintenance and you won’t have to do the maintenance work yourself. Regularly scheduled maintenance programs with companies take all the stress and guesswork out of the process – and can make sure you never miss another round of maintenance on your home.
- Keep a checklist. If you don’t want to hire professionals or if you just want more visibility into the home maintenance world, put together a checklist of all the maintenance items you need to do on an annual basis. You can segment this checklist based on seasons; for example, depending on where you live, you may need to winterize your home in the fall. You could also segment it based on the area of the home that needs to be addressed.
No matter what, it should comprehensively cover all the items you want to address on a regular basis, so you don’t forget about them. If you’re not sure where to start, look up some home maintenance checklists online.
- Set automatic reminders. Most of us are guilty of forgetting certain aspects of home maintenance because we’re excessively busy in normal life. If you’re juggling a demanding full-time career, raising children, and keeping up with your social life, home maintenance can slip your mind.
That’s one reason why it’s so important to set automatic reminders for yourself. Instead of forcing yourself to periodically remember the importance of home maintenance, set alarms or calendar events to consistently recur. This way, you’ll have no excuse for forgetting about the next task on the agenda.
- Make it a team sport. Next, make home maintenance a “team sport.” If you’re living with family members, consider making each member responsible for a different maintenance item, or using a chore wheel to rotate responsibilities.
If you have kids, they may not be able to tackle big jobs like cleaning the gutters, but they can handle little things, like changing air filters. If you have several people each working to take care of minor tasks throughout the house, the per-individual workload will decrease and you’ll enjoy some built-in redundancy to ensure no maintenance tasks get skipped.
- Tour your house every week. Each week, take a moment to tour your home, inside and out, the way you would if you were a prospective homebuyer. Too often, we overlook damage and maintenance needs because we’re not paying attention or because we’re too accustomed to our surroundings. With this method, you’ll see your home from a new perspective – and you’ll likely uncover some issues to address in the process.
Finding Your Own System
Not all of these strategies will work for every homeowner. If you’re more proactive and hands-on, you might prefer to take care of little issues immediately, rather than writing a list. If you have a managerial mindset, you might create large-scale project plans and delegate different tasks to different individuals.
What’s important is that you have a system in place that works for you – and if it fails, you can always contact a home maintenance professional to fill in the gaps.