Creating an effective home maintenance plan is a great way to efficiently manage your home and ensure that everything remains in good condition throughout the year. It will also help ensure that potential issues are addressed as they emerge and before they become major problems.
Here’s a general outline for a home maintenance plan for 2024:
Monthly Home Maintenance Tasks
Make a monthly checklist and set a reminder on your smart phone to accomplish these monthly maintenance tasks.
Inspect the HVAC System
Keeping up with monthly maintenance of the HVAC system will really pay off when it comes to energy efficiency and smooth operations of your heating and cooling system. Complete these tasks each month to keep your system in top condition.
- Replace the air filter.
- During hot months when you’re using the AC, pour a cup of vinegar or bleach down the condensate drain to keep it from clogging with mold, snails and/or algae.
- Check for any unusual sounds or odors. Schedule professional HVAC maintenance if needed.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Keep your household safe by testing all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors monthly. Check the batteries and replace them if necessary. Replacing batteries before they get ready to die will help prevent that annoying chirping sound they make that can keep the family awake all night.
Clean and Maintain the Garbage Disposal
Run ice cubes through the garbage disposal to sharpen blades. Follow up with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to eliminate odors.
For even better results when cleaning your garbage disposal, use Affresh foaming garbage disposal cleaner as shown in this helpful video:
Keeping your garbage disposal clean and deodorized will please your entire family and any guests that happen by.
Home Appliance Maintenance Tasks
Don’t neglect these important monthly tasks that will keep your home appliances working smoothly and operating efficiently.
- Clean out the dishwasher filter. Use a dishwasher cleaner such as Affresh to thoroughly clean and deodorize your dishwasher monthly.
- Clean the microwave. It’s hard to keep the inside of a microwave clean. Foods splatter everywhere during microwave cooking and reheating. You may even need to clean the microwave daily (or every few days) instead of monthly.
- Check the oven and clean if necessary. Use the self-clean feature if your oven or range has that option.
- Clean your washing machine using a product such as Affresh washing machine cleaner to help prevent laundry room odors and keep your washer operating efficiently.
Quarterly Home Maintenance Tasks
Inspect and Clean Gutters
Remove debris and leaves from gutters and ensure downspouts are clear and directing water away from the foundation.
Check Caulking and Seals
Inspect caulking around windows and doors. Re-caulk if necessary to prevent drafts and water leaks.
Look for leaks under sinks and around toilets. Check the water heater for any signs of leaks or corrosion.
Check the Roof
Look for damaged or missing shingles. Examine flashing around vents and chimneys. Schedule roof inspection and repairs if necessary.
Maintain Your Appliances
Quarterly maintenance of your home appliances includes these essential tasks:
- Refrigerator. Clean the condenser coils if you have pets. Inspect door gaskets for wear or damage and adjust or replace them if necessary. Replace the water filter and air filter if necessary. Clean the fridge thoroughly.
- Washer. For a front-load washer, clear out the drain pump filter and clean the rubber door boot with a bleach and water solution. Wear gloves to protect your hands when handling bleach.
- Clothes Dryer. Wash the lint screen with water and a soft-bristle brush to remove fabric softener and dryer sheet residue. Check the exhaust vent system and clear out lint build-up. Have Sears Home Services clean your dryer vent system if necessary.
Semi-Annual Home Maintenance Tasks
Semi-annual home maintenance tasks are easy to forget but they’re essential to help keep your home operating smoothly. Set reminders on your smart phone or device to accomplish these tasks.
Schedule Professional Inspection and Maintenance For Your HVAC System
Schedule professional cleaning and maintenance for your air conditioner in the spring and schedule furnace maintenance in the fall to help keep your HVAC system working flawlessly and efficiently all year long.
Clean Range Hood Grease Filters
The range hood grease filters are one of the most neglected items in many homes. Wash the grease filters according to the guidelines in the owner’s manual to help keep your kitchen well ventilated. Replace the charcoal filter if your range hood recirculates exhaust air into your kitchen instead of sending it to the outside of your home.
Check and Maintain Your Garage Door and Opener
The garage door is likely the single largest moving part in your home, so it’s important that your garage door and opener get regular maintenance and safety checks. If you’re like many people, though, the last time you really paid attention to your garage door and opener was the last time you had a problem with them.
Follow these tips to maintain your garage door:
- Examine your garage door panels, springs, safety release, hinges, rollers, weather seals, hardware and tracks. Tighten any loose fasteners (such as screws or bolts) that you find.
- If you have a garage door opener, pull the emergency door release so you can check door balance and travel. Open and close the door manually to check door balance and travel. If you find any problems with garage door balance or travel schedule garage door repair service to have a Sears Home Services professional fix the door.
- Lubricate the garage door rollers, bearings and hinges with a silicone spray such as Super Lube or a white lithium spray grease. Don’t use WD-40 because it will dry out the bearings, rollers and hinges. Don’t grease the door tracks—grease will attract dust and dirt, inhibiting roller movement.
- Reconnect the garage door to the opener trolley if you find no problems with door balance and travel.
Checking your garage door opener is just as important as examining the garage door for problems. Follow these tips to check and maintain your garage door opener.
- Check garage door opener travel limits. Open and close the garage door with the opener. If the garage door doesn’t quite reach the ground when closed, doesn’t open fully or opens when it should stay closed, follow your owner’s manual’s instructions for adjusting travel limits.
- Test downforce by closing the door with the opener and carefully grabbing the door with your hand when the door is halfway down to make sure that the downforce isn’t excessive. When the door meets resistance on the way down, it should reverse and open back up. If you can stop the door using your hand, then no adjustment is necessary. If you’re unable to stop the door with your hand, reduce the downforce in small increments according to the directions in the owner’s manual. Make downforce adjustments until the door closes completely on its own but will still stop if you catch it halfway down. Excessive downforce is dangerous and can cause door and property damage or injury if anything is caught in the path of door.
- Check safety sensor operation by placing an object in between the sensors while you try to close the door with the opener. When the safety sensor beam is blocked, the opener should stop door down travel and open the door back up. Schedule repair service if the safety sensors aren’t operating properly.
- For a chain-drive garage door opener, disconnect the trolley and check the chain tension. The chain should be about 1/4-inch above the base of the rail at the rail’s midpoint. Adjust the tension following instructions in your owner’s manual.
- If your garage door opener has a battery backup, test the battery. To test the battery, unplug the garage door opener; the battery status LED light should glow solid orange, indicating the opener is running on battery power. If the LED light flashes, that means it’s time to replace the battery because the battery power is low.
Schedule professional garage door tune up and maintenance yearly or as needed to ensure your garage door and opener work safely and smoothly.
Annual Home Maintenance Tasks
Although you typically only need to perform these tasks once per year, they are just as essential as the other maintenance and checks listed above.
- Inspect and clean the chimney. Schedule professional chimney inspection and cleaning. Check for any damage or obstructions.
- Examine exterior paint and siding. Look for peeling paint or damaged siding. Plan for repainting or repairs if needed.
- Check and update emergency supplies. Replace expired medicines and food items. Update emergency contact lists. Review evacuation and emergency plans.
- Schedule annual maintenance checks for all your home appliances. You can easily get this task done by scheduling a Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Check-up bundle to have all your home appliances professionally cleaned and maintained in one convenient visit.
Start the new year right by planning now to keep your home operating smoothly and efficiently. Adjust the maintenance schedule as needed based on your home’s specific requirements and any local climate considerations.
Regular maintenance can save you money in the long run and help prevent major problems from arising throughout the year. Count on Sears Home Services to help you manage your home wisely so you can enjoy it fully.