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Basic Home Maintenance Tips Everyone Should Know

Owning a home for any amount of time is a big responsibility. Similar to owning a car, your home needs love and care. One way to show your love is through regular maintenance.

There are home maintenance procedures that require consulting and hiring a professional. For instance, you need to hire an electrician to see if you have enough outlets for a new home theatre system. On the other hand, some activities you can do by yourself.

The following are a few tips to help you keep your house running smoothly throughout the year. It is important to note that some of these activities are better performed during certain seasons; when the weather is more permitting for the task at hand.

Clean the dryer vents
Most clothes dryers in the US are connected to a dryer vent. If you are part of the majority, cleaning this vent is essential to keep it running smoothly.

A layer of lint is added to your vent every time you use the dryer. As a result, your dryer becomes less efficient the more you use it.

The more lint that covers your dryer, the longer it takes to remove the moisture from your clothes after a wash. On top of that, the accumulation can turn your dryer and vent into fire hazards.

Reduce the chances of a house fire by removing the lint from your vents. You can do this by removing the dryer vent and cleaning that section. There are cleaning kits designed specifically for this task. However, if you don’t have access to one, a vacuum can work just as well.

Clean and test your smoke detectors
Fire alarms are an essential part of any home. They can alert you if smoke or fire is detected. Experts recommend having at least one smoke alarm in each room and one outside each sleeping area.

In alarms with replaceable batteries, remember to replace the batteries at least once a year. On the other hand, there is no need to change the batteries on a 10-year alarm as you will need to replace the entire unit on the 10th year.

Some models may beep to alert you that the battery is running low. However, you shouldn’t wait for this to happen. For your peace of mind, replace the battery or, in the case of 10-year alarms, the entire unit itself. Making it a routine ensures your alarms work when the time comes.

Test your alarms at least once a month. Typically, you can do this by pressing the test button for a few seconds or until you hear a sharp sound. You may need to inform the other people in your household when you plan to test the alarm. This way, you avoid frightening anyone in your home.

Inspect for pests
Mice love to build nests in warm areas, such as the air conditioning unit or near electrical wiring. They may even start chewing on wires, gnaw on furniture, and leave urine and droppings all over your home, among others.

Check for evidence of nesting and damage. If you have an infestation, you can hire exterminators to handle the situation. However, you will also need to address the reasons for the infestation.

Seal up any cracks or gaps you find before the winter season arrives. Rodent activity tends to speed up when temperatures drop, so it is worth making your house a less attractive option by autumn at the latest. Also, remember to remove any debris or food particles that can attract them into your home.

Test your sump pump
A sump pump is a common feature in many homes. This component has several functions. Its main purpose is to protect your basement from flooding and the foundation from damage due to a rainstorm.

Your sump pump is also useful during a heavy snowstorm. Once the snow starts to melt, the sump pump removes the water away from your basement.

When it comes to your sump pump, it is advised that you clean and test it at least twice a year. A quick test can be performed by following these steps:
• Remove any debris blocking the outside pipe
• Unplug your sump pump, then plug it back in to restart it
• Once you hear it running, pour some liquid into the crock area
• Check the pump outside to see if it has been effective in removing the water

Clean your gutters
Nobody likes to clean gutters, but the importance of this task cannot be understated. Leaves and branches can clog your gutters, causing them to break. The obstruction can become a bigger problem during the cold winter months when the water turns into ice. You may end up paying more to fix your entire roof if your gutters get clogged.

Much like cleaning your vents, there are special cleaning tools you can buy and use for your gutters. A cheaper alternative is buying a pair of long gloves, a small shovel or scooping tool, a ladder, and a large garbage bag.

Once you have these tools, use your ladder to access the gutter. Use your shovel to scoop the dirt and dump the debris into the plastic bag. Lastly, grab a hose and flush away any remaining debris.

Seal the door and window frames
The part of your doors and windows that faces the outdoors is more prone to damage from the elements. Over time, it can wear away the seals surrounding the frames of your openings.

Damaged seals are typically small, but even a minute crack can make a significant impact on your HVAC system. Cracks can force your heater or air conditioning systems to work harder to maintain the temperature. Close these gaps yourself, and you can save on electricity costs.

Owning your own home is a major accomplishment. However, it comes with a lot of responsibility. We have compiled a few basic maintenance tasks that you can do yourself. If you have any questions or would like some assistance, get in touch with our team of licensed electricians today.

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