Do you know how to save money with good home maintenance?
A home is the most expensive thing that most people own. The costs of ownership, including mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and utilities, are often at a level that is the most the owners can afford. As a result, they are very concerned about big repairs on the home itself and the expensive components inside.
If this is a concern for you, there are things you can do to lower your risk of a big repair bill. Not every repair can be prevented, but with a little bit of education and a commitment to follow a regular maintenance schedule, you can definitely head off some expenses while keeping others to an absolute minimum. Here are a few ways to do that.
Get service work done
It’s important to keep an eye on things around the house–more on that later–but there are certain tasks that you aren’t trained or equipped to do. A great example of this is your heat and air conditioning.
These systems, known as HVAC for short, are complex. They involve high voltage, expensive equipment, and dangerous substances like refrigerant, natural gas, and even carbon monoxide. Change your filters and watch for problems, but you should get an annual service visit from a company like Hiller to take a deeper look at things and make sure a breakdown isn’t in your future.
Do some things yourself
While the major work should be left to professionals, you still have a role. Just as in decorating and basic upkeep, you can handle many jobs without an expert.
A caulk gun is one of the simplest tools there is. Inexpensive, safe, and effective, they’ll let you reduce energy costs and exclude invaders like spiders and ants. Simply buy a couple tubes of caulk and seal cracks around windows and doors.
You can also do inspections yourself. That means being in tune with how things in the house should look, smell, sound, and feel, and knowing to take action when things change. For example, your washing machine has its own “song” that you know by heart, and when it starts to sound different, check with a service tech.
It is really that simple. Dust is the mortal enemy of countless things in your home, from your HVAC motors to your computer. Accumulations of dust and other filth are not only destructive, they can also be a sign of other problems.
Do heavy cleaning. Vacuum out your vents and returns. Roll your refrigerator out and clean it off. Check for clutter that could be interfering with the movement of air; almost everybody loses the occasional item behind the computer desk, and that can lead to overheating.
An added bonus of all that cleaning is that you get up close and personal with home systems, allowing you to detect more of those sights and sounds we already discussed.
As destructive as dirt is inside, water is equally destructive outside. The next hard rain you get, grab an umbrella and head outside. Make sure that water coming from your gutter downspouts is actually running away from the house. After the precipitation lets up, see if water is standing near the house or if the ground is draining out.
The water in your plumbing is important too. Listen to toilets, sinks, and other fixtures. If you hear or see any water leaking through, make the necessary adjustments or repairs, and if you can’t stop them, contact Hiller for help.
Your home is an important and complex investment. It takes a lot of attention to keep everything working properly. It’s always good to let professionals do regular inspections, but don’t assume that this is the only way to take care of your property. You can also get involved, and it will save you money and inconvenience in the long run.