7 Tips For Your Home's Upkeep On Your Own
Life is not easy and there are always those things most people would rather not think about that, of course, need thinking about.
Even if you live alone in an apartment you will be responsible for keeping the appliances in proper working order.
Even if your building has a maintenance crew, you will need to be aware of an appliance's approaching nervous breakdown in order to have it repaired as soon as possible.
And if you live in a rental house, the landlord or the management agency should be on your speed dial for 24/7 communication in order to avoid expensive repairs due to inattention to the house's mechanicals.
But if you own your own home, then it is essential that you have a list of repairmen available or companies that employ them. Absolutely necessary.
Here are seven tips for routine attention in order to keep your home's systems from breaking down or being damaged by fire or water. Most of them you can do yourself except for furnace inspection.
* Have your furnace inspected annually and have the filters replaced. This is basic maintenance to keep the heat and air conditioning systems working well. Also having the heat and air ducts cleaned by a professional company every few years will keep the circulating air in your home cleaner and safer. You will want the dated inspection sticker displayed on the furnace if selling the house.
* Check the water softener every three months to add more salt if needed. This prevents hard water mineral spots on glassware and china. And helps keep lime deposits off faucets and shower heads. Also hard water ages appliances faster than normal, damages clothing fabrics, and makes your hair dull and stiff. Not a good scene.
* If you have a basement with a sump pump, check it twice a year for breaks or leaks of water. A warning here: mine was replaced at $80.00 for the pump and $250.00 for less than an hour's labor. Plumbing is expensive!
* Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors or gas fume alarms twice a year even if they are still working. It keeps them from running down and shrieking until the off button is pushed. If they're on cathedral ceiling walls your eardrums will suffer til you find a very tall ladder. Or a handyman who has one. A smoke and carbon monoxide alarm covers two dangers. Worth buying. Keep extra batteries on hand.
* Vacuum the lint filter in the clothes dryer often. This will prevent any hint of a fire ruining your laundry unit, any clothes inside, or even your home.
* If lime deposits have appeared on your faucets or shower head, clean them with white vinegar. Tie a plastic baggie on them half filled with the vinegar and leave for several hours. The deposits will disappear.
* Clean the garbage disposal and drains with a commercial cleaner, followed by very hot water, as per the bottle's instructions. Be careful as these chemicals are lethal. I've found that this is the only cleaning system that worked for me, especially in the bathroom sink drain with collected hair. Mine, of course. Disgusting.