Owning a home is one of those financial goals that people love to reach. When you finally buy your first home, it’s like adulthood has finally arrived. But unlike renting, owning a home means that when something breaks, you’re responsible for it.
Many first-time homebuyers forget to include money in their budget for regular home maintenance. This means they often take a reactive approach when something breaks instead of a proactive stance to prevent breakage in the first place. When you’re looking to buy a home, these regular maintenance tasks can end up saving you big money in the long run.
When you live in the hotter states, air conditioning is essential. Tampa, Atlanta, and Austin residential air conditioning services can be a literal life saver. When temperatures in Texas, Georgia, and Florida get too high, residents crank the AC. It’s for survival. A broken AC unit not only costs a lot to fix, but it can be dangerous in heat waves to go without it.
However, when the weather cools down, and the air conditioning is not needed all the time, people forget to do one important thing: get your AC unit serviced. Getting it checked out in the cooler months means that come spring and summer when the weather heats up, you won’t be left without AC. It also means that you’ll have more time to budget for repairs, and you’ll have time to wait for parts to come in.
Heating System Upkeep
In the colder states, heat is vital. While you probably already change out your air filters every 3 months, when is the last time you had someone come do a routine maintenance check on your heating system? They can clean sensors, check for damaged wires, replace worn out parts, oil the moving parts on the fan, and so much more.
It’s important to budget for someone to come out once a year to ensure your heating system is working optimally. I remember one time the heat went out in my house. It was still blowing, but the air was cold. I checked the pilot light, it was on, I checked a few other easy things, but couldn’t figure out the problem. It turns out that the sensor was dirty. As soon as that was cleaned off, my home was warm and toasty once again.
Clean the Air Ducts
Air quality in your home is important. This is especially true if you have allergies or sensitivities to mold, smoke, dust, and pet dander. New homeowners don’t always think about what was in their home before they got there. Budgeting for an annual air duct cleaning can help remove those allergens and improve the air quality in the home all year long. Hiring a professional to clean the ducts is worth every penny.
Whether you have ants, roaches, mice, or even termites, an annual or bi-annual check can detect and keep these varmints at bay. Pest control professionals help keep your home free of insects and other critters that damage your home and put your health at risk. Many of them use chemicals that are harmful to the pests, but once dried won’t harm pets or humans. Some people choose to leave their home on pest control day so they don’t have to smell the sprays. Pest control is different from animal control. So, if you have a bat or a raccoon problem, there is a different person you’d call to help remove those critters.
Inspect the Exterior
This can be done by you or a professional contractor. You’ll want to look for damage to the exterior of your home. Places where water or insects can get in. You can also inspect the foundation and the roof. Again, it’s best to leave some of these tasks to a professional who has the right safety gear.
Winterize Your Water
There is nothing worse than frozen pipes. They can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars or more to replace. Your sprinkler system, your exterior faucets and spigots are all at risk if there is a freeze. The best way to protect your home is to budget for someone to blow out your sprinkler system each year. It’s one of those home maintenance tasks no one thinks about until it’s too late.