One of the great benefits of owning a new home is that they allow for a relatively low-maintenance lifestyle and come with a new home warranty. But like a new car will still need its oil changed, new homes will need some basic maintenance performed to operate at their best, providing maximum comfort, safety and efficiency and to protect your investment for the future. If this is your first home don’t worry, these routine maintenance items provided by the National Association of Home Builders are easy to do and won’t break the bank.
1. Change your air filters! The general rule of thumb is every three months but this can fluctuate with seasonal periods of increased or decreased use. The filters in your heating and air conditioning systems are designed to remove dust, dirt and pet dander from your home’s air, improving the quality of the air you breathe. A dirty filter can force your HVAC system to work harder, resulting in unnecessary use that will ultimately shorten the systems working-life. Consult the instruction put or remove the existing filter to get the model number to replace it with. You’ll find the best selection of air filters at home supply stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot, at your local Wal-Mart or Target, or just order online.
2. Maintain your sink. Like air filters that are easy to forget since they are out of sight, your sink has some working hidden working components that need attention to function at their best. Clean your faucet’s aerator, it’s the spring inside the end of the faucet (you can just unscrew the end of the faucet to access it). This is best done every three-four months. Also keep your garbage disposal fresh by being sure to run cold water whenever you turn it on. Running fresh citrus through it, for instance some lemon quarters, can also help keep it smelling clean.
3. Make sure your fireplace is clean and functioning. If you opted for a wood-burning fireplace in your new home be sure that when you build a fire, you do it on the grate rather than the floor of the fireplace. Throwing a handful of salt in a fire can help reduce nasty soot and makes the fire more colorful, to boot! Store your firewood in a dry space outside, off of the ground and away from the house. Fireplaces should be inspected annually by a CSIA-Certified professional to ensure safety.
4. Keep those floors shining. If you have concrete floors in your garage be sure to make sure they are sealed, this will make them easier to clean & last longer. If your wood floors do not have a polyurethane finish they will require occasional waxing with a liquid or paste floor wax. Ask an expert at your local home improvement store if there are any specific products that they would recommend. If you have vinyl floors in your kitchen, bath or laundry area a water emulsion wax will work well to keep them polished.
5. Ensure your security system stays safe. Making a regular check of alarms, circuit breakers and sensors will help you make sure your system is in top-not working order. Further ensure the safety of your home (and those in it) by checking the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. They should be checked twice a year for operability. If you have a hard-wired or battery powered detector those should be replaced every ten years.
This week we covered interior maintenance, for everything inside your home. Check back next week for exterior tips! Still shopping for a new home, subscribe here for a free six-month subscription to The Greater Charleston New Homes Guide!
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