A Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist for First-Time Homebuyers

Congratulations on becoming a first-time homebuyer! Owning your first home is exciting, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Since much of the responsibility of owning a home includes maintaining it through every season, creating a home maintenance checklist is a savvy idea for new homebuyers.

Why is Seasonal Home Maintenance Important?

Buying a home is typically the biggest purchase most people make in their lives. This is an important investment that requires regular maintenance and seasonal upkeep to ensure your home holds its value through the years. Since new homebuyers don’t typically have the experience to know what needs to be performed each season, it makes sense to create a home maintenance checklist you can refer to that will help you keep up with necessary tasks.

Here are some of the maintenance tasks associated with becoming a homeowner.

Monthly Home Maintenance Checklist

1. Check Your HVAC Filters

Checking your HVAC filters monthly for signs of dirt and dust and changing if needed will reduce your utility bill and extend the life of your system. Filters should typically be replaced every one to six months depending on use and dust accumulation.

2. Check Your Water Softener and Heater

Water softeners and heaters require monthly checkups. Look for salt bridges and mushing on your water softener and be sure to replenish the salt as needed. You should also check for cracks and leaks as well as the temperature and pressure relief valves on water heaters monthly.

3. Clean Your Garbage Disposal

To eliminate odors and prevent bacteria and mold, clean your garbage disposal monthly. Turn off the power and remove and clean splash guard. Next, add half a cup of baking soda and let stand for 30 minutes. Add a cup of vinegar for five minutes then rinse with hot water. Finally, grind two cups of ice and one cup of salt until crushed.

4. Test Your Home’s Safety Devices

A monthly test of your home’s safety alarms such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be completed to ensure they work properly and have fresh batteries.

Spring/Summer Home Maintenance

1. Prepare Your Lawn and Garden

Spring is the time to plant seasonal flowers and seed your lawn for the best curb appeal.

2. Repair Your Driveway and Sidewalk

Check your sidewalks and driveway for cracks and make necessary repairs using crack filler or driveway patches. Driveways may need to be resealed every three years.

3. Inspect and Repair Water Features and Sprinklers  

Check your external water features and be sure to inspect for necessary repairs. Also, reset sprinkler timers to meet landscaping needs.

4. Start Spring Cleaning

Make a seasonal home maintenance checklist for spring and clean areas you seldom do. This includes deep cleaning flooring, baseboards, and carpets as well as ceiling fans, and other fixtures.

5. Clean Your Kitchen Exhaust Fan Filter

Remove and clean your kitchen exhaust filter by using boiling water and dish soap to remove the grease build up.

6. Drain Hot Water Heater

Draining your hot water heater annually removes debris and sediment, which will prolong the life of your water heater.

 Fall/ Winter Home Maintenance

1. Clean and Inspect Your Roof and Gutters

Since leaves can clog your gutters, causing expensive roof and water damage, it is important to inspect and clean the roof and gutters, so water exits away from your home.

2. Shut Off Exterior Sprinklers and Valves

Turn off all sprinklers and faucets and add insulating covers before freezing temperatures hit to prevent pipes from bursting.

3. Inspect Your Home’s Heating

Annual preventative maintenance on your home’s furnace and air ducts will help ensure your HVAC system is in tip-top shape for cold weather. This will also lower your heating costs.

4. Inspect and Insulate Windows and Doors

Check your home’s windows and doors to ensure they operate properly. Inspect for air leaks, drafts, and wood damage and make needed repairs. Adding insulation or weatherstripping will aid in heat loss.

5. Clean and Inspect Your Fireplace

Since wood-burning fireplaces produce tar and creosote that can accumulate and become a fire hazard, it is a good idea to hire a professional to inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney annually.

6. Cover Your Air Conditioner

It is a good idea to remove your window AC unit and cover your outside air conditioning unit to prevent damage during winter months.

7. Insulate Your Pipes

Protect your pipes from freezing by installing Styrofoam insulation around exposed pipes in attics and basements that may be susceptible to freezing temps. Always keep your thermostat set to at least 55 degrees to prevent damage to pipes.

8. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter, which reverses the airflow to best accommodate each season.

Savvy Homebuyers Stay Organized with a Home Maintenance Checklist

Homeowners will find that there are different tasks associated with each season as well as monthly and yearly tasks that need to be taken care of. A new homebuyer can ensure all tasks are completed in a timely manner with a home maintenance checklist like the one above to help keep you organized.

Related: Here Are the Best Home Improvements for Resale

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