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Home Maintenance Check-up

Proper upkeep of your home is essential to its longevity. Maintenance also prevents premature deterioration of materials. We've compiled the following checklist of projects that you should do annually.

Shutoff Valves Review the location of all of the shutoff valves with all your family members so you'll be prepared for emergencies.

Gas Shut Off Valves Identify location and show family how to shut off.

Electrical Panel/Breaker Box Identify location and show entire family how to shut off main breaker in an emergency, or flip any circuits back on after an overload. (If it happens often, consider hiring an electrician to upgrade your panel or wiring.)

Gas-Fired, Forced-Air Central Heating Systems Hire a pro to inspect the thermostat, electrical components and controls, check the heat exchanger, flue, ducts, air flow and air fuel mixture, adjust the burner and oil the motor and circulating fan.

Heat Pump Schedule an annual service call to have a certified professional to inspect the wiring, check belts and replace if needed, and oil the moving parts.

Oil-Fired Boilers Hire a professional for annual maintenance including flue cleaning, a fuel- filter change, cleaning and adjustment of the jets.

Arrange for service calls before the start of heating and cooling season to get better attention and have more flexibility when scheduling appointments.

Fireplaces and Chimneys Have your wood burning fireplaces and stoves inspected annually, cleaned and repaired as required to prevent chimney fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and mortar and flashing failure. Water leaks can also cause your mortar to deteriorate prematurely. Consider installing a chimney cap to protect your chimney from water, debris, and critters.

Clean Carpeting, Upholstery And Draperies Have your carpets, upholstery and draperies cleaned regularly, once every 12 to 18 months, to remove the dirt and grit that can wear them out prematurely. You should also have carpets cleaned after any event such as remodeling or holiday parties and eliminate stains as quickly as possible.

Appliances Inspect appliance hoses and ventilation according to owners' manuals. Hire a service professional if it is necessary to replace them. Vacuum the coils behind your refrigerator and freezer (found behind or under) to increase energy efficiency.

Garage Doors Clean and lubricate hinges, rollers, and tracks; tighten screws. If any more serious repairs are required, contact a garage door pro.

Fire Alarms Make sure you check and test your fire alarms. You might find that they need new batteries.