For new homeowners, the transition from renter to homeowner can be both exciting and stressful. There are so many things to think about, including home maintenance! Here are six winter home maintenance tips that every new homeowner should know to help them transition smoothly from renter to homeowner.
Get Rid of Dead Potted Plants
To get rid of dead potted plants, find the roots and pull them out of the soil. Then remove all remaining soil from the pot and replace it with fresh new soil. Now place your plant in a spot that has full sunlight or partial shade so they are happy and thriving. If you don’t have an area like this, you can use grow lights to provide additional light for the winter months. When planting flowers make sure to place them where they will not be disturbed by pets or children.
Clean Out Debris From Gutters and Downspouts
Get your gutters cleaned before the heavy rain and snow melt of winter, which can clog them and cause floods in your home. When cleaning them out, be sure to use protective gear such as a mask and gloves, or you could risk coming into contact with mold, mildew or other contaminants.
Don’t Forget To Change Your Air Filters: Cleaning air filters is an easy way to help your heating system run more efficiently and cleanly. In colder climates, it’s recommended that homeowners change their furnace filters once every month during the heating season. It’s also important to have an annual filter inspection performed by a professional technician who will inspect any potential issues like tears or holes that might need immediate attention.
Test Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors
A missing or malfunctioning smoke detector or fire alarm can mean the difference between life and death. If your smoke detector or fire alarm is old, make sure you replace it before winter. Check for a label on the detector that has an End of Life date. Once that date passes, it’s time to replace your old detector with a new one and install it in your home!
Don’t forget to have everyone in your household test their alarms and detectors when they change batteries at least once a year. These lifesaving devices should be tested monthly during peak season, but every three months during low season if no high-risk activities are occurring in the home such as cooking, cleaning with solvents, etc.
Change Air Filters, A/C Filters, Furnace Filters, etc.
The top four questions in home maintenance are when to change the air filter, how often to change the A/C filter, how often to clean or change the furnace filter, and what kind of filters should be used. Filters can save energy, get rid of allergens and pollutants, prevent fires caused by overloading furnaces and most importantly help you breathe easier. Change your air filters every three months or more if you have pets and allergies.
Clean Out The Fridge and Freezer
If your home is anything like mine, then it’s time to do a little deep cleaning. Take out all the food and clean out the freezer. You don’t want that old smell clinging to your new kitchen! I also recommend getting some plastic bins and labeling them: as perishable, non-perishable, dairy, etc.
Check For Leaks in the Water Line
- You can go through your water bill each month and compare the times of high use (such as the dishwasher or clothes washer) to see if you notice any spikes in your usage that might correspond with a leak.
- Also, take note of how long the water has been on before it comes out of the faucet: shorter than two minutes and you should be worried.