Here are Rosie’s tips for planning annual maintenance and home projects
If we have learned anything from the years 2020 and 2021, it’s that we’d better be prepared for anything.
Now that 2022 has arrived, let’s outline the projects and tasks that you need to plan for throughout the year. This year, it is especially imperative to have a plan and a back-up, and possibly a back-up for your back-up.
With shortages of labor and materials combined with their rising costs, you need to ensure that you can handle large projects and repairs from financial and timeline standpoints. To reduce your risk of costly repairs and replacement, regular maintenance is key, and you must plan for them.
Monthly home maintenance
Most of these monthly tasks you can do yourself and only require common household tools.
Change the air filter. Rosie recommends the 1-inch paper pleated filter that sits snugly in the holder. If you have shedding pets or are hyperallergic, it may need more frequent cleaning.
Look for leaks around toilets and sinks. Any sign of leaks could cost hundreds of dollars in repairs and wasted water later. Put a paper towel under every sink in the home and check it for water spots.
Caulk voids or cracks around and in tubs and showers.
Deep clean the kitchen vent hood and filter.
Test smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year, perhaps on New Year’s Day whether they need it or not. A chirping alarm is a warning that the battery is low. Replace the battery right away.
Walk around the outside of house. Look for problems with the foundation, vents, gutters and drainpipes.
Test the safety of your garage door. Make sure the chain pulls smoothly.
Cooling & heating system
Oh, you don’t want to be caught without AC no later than early May! Schedule your AC tune-up and maintenance that includes:
- Checking accuracy of thermostat settings.
- Cleaning fan blades and coils.
- Checking the blower motor and critical electrical components
- Checking the overall unit from winter hail damage
If your furnace and AC unit are in the house and easily accessible — perhaps in a closet — inspect the cabinet for holes or leaks that a technician could fix.
Inspect your roof before the monsoon arrives. Otherwise, if you have a leak, you could be waiting weeks for a repair or even someone to place a tarp.
Seal cracks and gaps in windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping; replace if necessary.
Test the safety of your garage door again.
Check the door and window weatherstripping.
Cooling & heating system
Even though the air conditioner is still running, schedule the bi-annual check-up of your HVAC unit no later than early mid-October. This ensures that the furnace is ready for the winter.
Keeping the fireplace and chimney clean is a safety issue. If you used the chimney in the winter, schedule a professional chimney sweep. This is a messy job that you’d likely prefer someone else do.
According to The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a chimney must be swept at least once a year to keep it in safe working order. If you have an oil or wood burning fireplace, you should clean it twice a year, depending on usage.
Assess the pool’s motor run time and chemical use. The motor can be reduced by a couple of hours a day during off-peak hours. Less chlorine will be required during cooler temperatures. Test the pool water (or have it tested at your local pool supply) and make sure you are not wasting money by over-chlorinating. Check the pool filters and baskets.
Watering systems should be adjusted every quarter and based on the weather of the season.
October is the ideal time of the year for overseeding.
The daytime temperatures are about 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and the nights go down to around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Warmer weather tends to favor Bermudagrass while at the same time prevents winter grass from getting established. If you overseed in colder weather, you may get frost which will damage the young seeding grasses.
The monsoon tends to bring a lot of flooding. Keep an eye on your foundation, driveway and walkways for any signs of heaving. If you see any changes schedule an appointment with a foundation specialist.
If you didn’t do this in the spring and made it through the monsoon without leaks, call now to schedule an inspection before the winter rains. Because of the monsoons, roofers are exceptionally busy. Get on their schedule now.
Swap old, drafty windows for more energy-efficient models.
Drain the water heater.
Wrap insulation around outdoor faucets and pipes in unheated garages.
Make a plan
Always plan for the unexpected. Whether it’s a new HVAC unit, toilet or service, you will need to find a reputable, licensed contractor such as one of the Rosie-Certified Partners and the funding to cover the costs.
“A lot of people don’t think enough about the planning phase before they take a hammer to anything,” Bruce Stumbo, Project Manager & Sales Consultant, Rosie Right | Design. Build. Remodel, said.
HomeZada is the single platform that brings together all your home financial asset information and various categories of expenses. Track your home insurance policy coverages and costs, as well as your property taxes. Budget for all ongoing household expenses such as energy, water, garbage, internet, and other premium expenses, like landscaping and pool services.
To budget for repairs, consider a savings account rather than a home warranty. Sometimes warranties often fall short of covering what is needed in the event of major repairs. And with a home warranty you may not able to choose the contractors who will perform the work.
Preventative maintenance will go a long way in extending the life of the systems and products you have invested in. Too often we coast along until something breaks which can lead to large and unexpected repair and replacement bills. Take care of your home and it will serve you well!
Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions & comments.