There’s a lot to go through when it comes to home maintenance, which means it’s easy to focus on the most important things and forget about others. In most cases, this causes no short-term issue as long as you don’t neglect it for too long.

Usually I talk about the most important home improvement tasks every homeowner should do, but today, I'm focusing on these lesser known ones – the ones you might not even know you had to worry about.

OK, “worry" might be too strong a word for this. In most of these cases, we’re not talking about fire hazards or thousands of dollars in repairs, but by watching out for these, you’ll definitely improve your quality of life and save yourself hundreds of dollars in potential repairs.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. – Helen Keller

Clean your refrigerator’s coil and drip pan

It’s hard to find someone who remembers it, but your refrigerator has condenser coils usually located at the back or under it and those can get real dusty. Their main purpose is to release heat, but when dirty, they can’t do that as effectively and compromise the functioning of your refrigerator.

Also, fridges have a drip pan. The drip pan tends to be wet and moist a lot of the time, which leads to – you guessed it – mold growth. A single mold colony is enough to spread it around other areas of your kitchen, but it’s already bad enough to have mold growing on the exact thing that keeps your food fresh. Remember to clean it regularly!

Flush your water heater

Water heaters are excellent and don’t really need a lot of maintenance since they tend to be quite reliable, which explains why we often forget the most basic water heater maintenance task – flushing them.

The accumulation of debris can seriously compromise their functioning and even lead to them not working properly at all. Fortunately, flushing a water heater is not very hard and you can do it yourself with some practice – but if in doubt, call a professional.

Reseal your bathroom grout

The grout in between the tiles should be resealed somewhat regularly – once a year if possible. The reason is two-fold: visually they can get yellow or darker, which really messes with your visual design for the bathroom. 

But most importantly

The cement in between the tiles is porous, which means it can absorb humidity and lead to mold growth, and that is really bad for your family’s health. 

Change your air filters

OK, this one might not be so “lesser known, but… really, change your air filters.

Many homeowners end up stretching their current filters way too much, or end up forgetting about them entirely – as long as air seems to be flowing they assume everything is fine, but it’s not that simple.

Filters have a recommended time to replace depending on the type, and you should do your best to respect it. A dirty or clogged filter may not become apparent immediately, but they can compromise your air conditioning system leading to costly HVAC maintenance, cause mold to spread, spend more energy, and damage your health. It’s a big deal.

Inspect your home

Hiring inspections is something you should always do if you’re suspicious of anything wrong with your home. A professional can properly look into it and provide a solution right away before problems get any worse.

You can do this for almost anything, but do get some special attention to your roof, your gutters, and your chimney – especially during the winter months.

Make sure your smoke detectors are working

Checking for batteries is always good practice, but one often forgotten trick is to actually trigger your smoke detector every now and then to make sure it’s actually working. Think about it: we don’t have fire hazards in our homes every month, so it’s hard to know for sure the detectors are working – and if they’ll work when you need them to.

So every now and then (like whenever you replace the batteries), perform a small test to make sure they are actually detecting smoke and beeping accordingly. 

Want to prepare your home for the winter? Call a local heating contractor and get free quotes today!


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