Maintaining Your Home

Your Massachusetts (or New Hampshire) home is one of the single biggest investments you’ll ever make in your lifetime, so be sure you do all you can to take care of it. A well-maintained home usually sells more readily and will usually bring a higher price when you go to sell your home. Regular maintenance also makes your home more comfortable wat kost een dakkapel and any regular care that you do put into it will minimize any unexpected repair work and expenses that could occur if your home was not maintained. Regularly scheduled small repairs and continuous upgrades to your home can and will keep any maintenance costs from becoming exorbitant.

The maintenance schedule that I’m presenting here is a general guide for you to simply follow. The actual timing is left up to you to decide when you want to actually perform the tasks. You may want to further divide the list of maintenance items for each season into months so that your everyday schedule will not become affected by this list of tasks. Now let’s get to work, so your home (and the components within your home) will last a lifetime.

WINTER

Clean or replace furnace air filters every other month during the heating season. Periodically check vents outside (intake and exhaust) to make sure they are not blocked by snow or debris. Then vacuum all heating supply registers, return grills, baseboards or radiators inside the home.

After consulting your hot water tank owner’s manual, carefully test the temperature and pressure relief valve to ensure it is not stuck. (Caution: This test may release hot water that can cause burns and it may also cause the valve to develop a slow leak due to sediment build-up not allowing the valve to close fully. This will require a plumber to replace the TPR valve). In some areas, sludge may accumulate in the bottom of the tank. Draining approximately 1 gallon of water from the clean-out spigot at the bottom of your tank will indicate the presence of sludge and the necessity for regular draining to control sediment and maintain efficiency. Be sure to shut off the power or fuel supply before draining any water from the tank.

Clean the humidifier (if equipped), two or three times during the winter season.

Vacuum bathroom fan grille or any other registers you may have in your home. I recommend removing the register grills and vacuuming inside the duct work, (as far as possible). Vacuum all fire and smoke detectors, as dust or spider webs can prevent them from functioning. Dust ceiling fan blades.

Vacuum radiator grilles on back of refrigerators and freezers, and empty and clean the drip tray underneath the refrigerator.

Check inside bathroom vanities and kitchen sink cabinets for signs of moisture. Look for leaks at shut-off valves at sinks, toilets, laundry equipment, and main water shut-off valve. Carefully inspect pipes for condensation or slow drips. Repair the plumbing system if necessary.

Remove mineral deposits from faucet aerators and shower heads by soaking the parts in white vinegar and scrubbing them with an old toothbrush.

Examine attic for frost accumulation. Check roof for ice dams or ice build-up. If either of these occur, this is a sign of inadequate insulation and/or ventilation.

Check electrical cords, plugs and outlets for all indoor and outdoor seasonal lights to ensure fire safety: if worn, or plugs or cords feel warm to the touch, replace immediately. Check the operation of all ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets by pushing the “test” button. The “reset” button should pop out, indicating the receptacle is operating properly. Press in the reset button. Check the AFCI circuit breakers inside the main panel. Press the test button to make sure it trips. Then reset.

FALL

Have all heating and cooling systems checked by a qualified serviceperson once a year or according to the manufacturer’s warranty and service recommendations. Failure to do manufacturer-recommended servicing may void warranties.

FURNACE: Examine the forced air furnace fan belt for wear, looseness or noise; clean fan blades of any dirt buildup (after disconnecting the electricity to the motor). Then clean dirt and dust from around the air grills and ducts. Open furnace humidifier damper and clean humidifier (if equipped). Hire a licensed HVAC technician to inspect the thermostat, electrical components and controls, inspect the heat exchanger, check flue, air flow and air fuel mixture, adjust the burner and oil the motor and circulating fan.

The exhaust pipe should be checked for loose or corroded sections. Have your ducts cleaned at least every 5 to 6 years, this keeps your furnace clean and will increase the life expectancy. Make sure the exposed ductwork have no cracks or leaks and seal seams (where needed) with aluminum tape.

BOILER: Bleed the air from hot water radiators. Older circulating pumps should be lubricated twice during the heating season. Expansion tanks should be drained annually. The heat shield (located where the burner enters the heat exchanger) should be checked to ensure that it is not loose or corroded. Burn marks around the heat shield or soot on the front may indicate a draft or combustion problem. A technician should be contacted.

OIL FURNACES AND BOILERS: Oil systems should be checked by a qualified technician on an annual basis. Oily soot deposits at registers of forced-air systems may indicate a cracked heat exchanger. A technician should be contacted. The exhaust pipe from the furnace or boiler should be checked for loose connections or corroded sections. The barometric damper on the exhaust pipe should rotate freely. The chimney clean out should be cleared of any debris. The oil tank should be inspected for leaks. Soot on the front of the furnace or boiler may indicate a draft or combustion problem. A technician should be contacted.

 

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