It’s finally the season when everything springs into action again — including you. Now’s the time to roll up your sleeves and take care of the things you’ve neglected during the winter months. You’ll want to ready your home for the impending summer weather. Spring cleaning is a good place to start, but the turn of the season also presents an opportunity to be more thorough with your home maintenance. As your insurance agent, we recommend using the following tips while sprucing up your home.
- Open the Windows
Now that it’s warming up, you can let in fresh air without getting too chilly. Open all the windows to get rid of stagnant air and aerate your home. While your windows are open, clean interior windowsills. Opening and closing the windows in your home is a good practice. All to often, we ‘assume’ we could open the window quickly in case of a fire or emergency. You should “know” how your windows operate and how to get out of your home quickly if needed. Have extra time on your hands, practice crawling thru or exiting your home through the window, and have your children practice as well.
- Check the Basement and Attic
Head into the basement and attic to look for signs of moisture that you might not have noticed. Look for leaks, water stains and mold. Any odd smells — like mold or mildew — should be addressed immediately. Find and seal off the source of moisture to prevent serious water damage or mold issues.
- Perform Routine Home Safety Checks
Safety and emergency features are easy to forget about because you don’t use them often. Performing routine checks can be beneficial. Change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check fire extinguishers to make sure the needle is in the green zone. Exhaust fans should also be working well.
- Clean the Furnace
After working overtime during the winter, your furnace could probably use some TLC. Clean the motor, filler system and blower of your furnace system. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, contact an HVAC technician.
- Consider Upgrades
Spring is a great time to replace and repair lights, appliances and other systems around your home. While repairing or replacing, you may consider leveling up to more energy-efficient options. Here are some upgrades to think about:
Adding insulation to your basement or crawl space can help your house stay cool in summer and retain heat during winter. While you’re at it, seal ducts and ensure that they are straight and connected securely.
Doors and Windows
Consider installing more energy-efficient skylights. Putting in storm doors and windows can save energy and improve temperature regulation. Storm windows can reduce heat loss by up to 50%.
Installing a programmable thermostat can help you save up to 10% a year on energy costs by adapting your heating and cooling settings based on whether you are home or away. You can place sensors around your home to ensure that you only heat occupied rooms.
Energy-Efficient Systems and Appliances
An on-demand, tankless water heater can be more efficient than a traditional system with a reservoir. If you don’t need an upgrade, you can consider insulating your water heater instead.
Heating and cooling systems are huge energy consumers. Swapping them out for more energy-efficient models can lower your energy bills. The same is true of appliances and electronics that use a lot of power, like refrigerators and clothes dryers.
The first reason home maintenance is so important is that it saves you, the homeowner, money. While it’s true, maintenance takes some money, dedication and hard work, in the long run you save much more money than if you didn’t do maintenance. That’s because taking care of small problems now (a dirty filter or clogged drain) makes it so you don’t have the problem worsen over time and develop into a larger issue (a burned-out HVAC motor or burst pipe.) Those bigger problems that tend to crop up after not maintaining a home cost significantly more than a new furnace filter every month or so.
Another reason home maintenance is so important is the longer you own a home, the more you could increase its worth. Of course, home values have to do with the market and not solely what you do to the house, but you can still have a direct effect on your home’s value by maintaining your house. The more home improvement and maintenance projects you do out of your own pocket that increase your home’s value, the more equity you end up having in the home.
Howe Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agent located in Andover, MA. We can provide coverage from many insurance carriers so you receive the home insurance for your budget and needs! You can reach us at (978) 475-0400 or online at https://howeins.com/
Source: https://www.homeserve.com/en-us/blog/home-improvement/spring-home-maintenance-checklist/ and https://www.landmarkhw.com/resources/home-repairs-maintenance/why-home-maintenance-is-important/6/80