Home care by season
Stay on top of maintenance throughout the year to keep your home in tip-top shape
Ask any veteran homeowner and they’ll tell you that it’s easier—and less stressful—to maintain a home when you do regular upkeep. Plus, it helps prevent small problems from turning into big ones. Keep your home running smoothly and looking good with this seasonal checklist.
- Replace the furnace filter monthly.
- Clear lint buildup from the the dryer vent to prevent fires.
- Inspect the washing machine’s water supply hoses. If the metal connectors show rust or there are cracks in the hoses, replace them before they fail and create water damage.
- Technically, this isn’t maintenance, but it’s a good idea to review your homeowners insurance once a year. Make sure upgrades that increase the value of your home are reflected in the policy. For example, if you remodeled your kitchen and replaced laminate countertops with granite or quartz, the replacement value will be higher.
- Winter snow, ice and wind can damage trees and shrubs. Prune and trim any broken branches, especially those that come in contact with your home or other structures.
- Spring rains mean more work for sump pumps, so make sure yours is working properly.
The average life of a sump pump is 10 years, but those that run frequently may wear out before then. If you notice different sounds or the pump running for long periods, these are clues that the pump is nearing the end of its life.
- Repair winter damage to your lawn by reseeding thin and bare patches in early spring. (Reseeding can also be done in the fall.)
- Schedule a tune up for your AC before summer heat waves hit.
- Clean windows inside and out. Don’t forget the screens. You’ll be rewarded with clearer views and with dust and pollen removed from the screens, you’ll have cleaner air to breathe.
- Power wash the deck and house. In addition to the near-instant gratification of cleaning off grime and mold, you’ll boost the curb appeal of your home.
- Check for invasive pests like carpenter ants and termites. If you find them, treat the problem right away and repair any damage.
- The dryer weather of summer makes it a perfect time for exterior painting and deck staining.
- Prepare for winter before temperatures start to drop. Schedule a furnace tune-up before technicians get booked up, or worse, you need emergency service.
- Seal gaps around windows, doors and the foundation to keep out cold air and heat-seeking critters like mice.
- Clear leaves and debris from gutters to make sure water gets carried away from your home’s foundation and avoid ice dams that could damage the roof.
- If you have a wood-burning fireplace, enlist a chimney sweep to clean the chimney so you can enjoy a worry-free season of fires.
- Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries, too.
Remember, it’s easier and less expensive to do preventive home maintenance than to fix problems that turn into structural damage or emergencies.
Consumers helps more than 2,000 members finance land, first and second homes, and home improvement projects each year. We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit; contact us online or call us at 800-991-2221.