Disclosure: This post is sponsored by American Home Shield but all opinions are strictly my own.
Now that the New Year has begun it’s time to put attention back on your home maintenance checklist for the colder months ahead. I know in our household we need New Year’s resolutions we vow to tackle for our home. What home maintenance checklist items have you been vowing to get to? Now that the holidays are over it’s important to reassess the status of your refrigerator, oven, washer and dryer, furnace, and vents. Each of these maintenance checklist items will help keep you and your family safe and comfortable during the colder months of this New Year. I’ve paired with American Home Shield for these New Year’s home resolutions. Take a look and see which home features and systems could your home “get back on track”. These are areas we plan on tackling this New Year’s.
My New Year’s Resolutions Home Maintenance Checklist
Are your Refrigerator Condenser Coils Clean?
During the busy holiday season your kitchen went through a workout! From your oven being used longer and more frequently to your refrigerator holding more food than any other time of the year. Here are some tips to ensure your kitchen appliances start off having a good New Year’s home resolution.
- Refrigerator: How much food did you pack in there? Don’t worry, you weren’t alone, as the holidays are when your refrigerator works harder and is barely cleaned out or serviced. Before your refrigerator decides to call it quits consider cleaning the condenser coils. When dust and dirt builds up on them, they work harder trying to cool your food. Remove the kick plate from the bottom front of your refrigerator and use a handheld vacuum cleaner or an attachment tool on your upright vacuum to remove dust and dirt.
- Refrigerator maintenance: Every season take out all of the food and throw away expired food as well as clean the drawers, shelves and doors with a mild detergent and warm water. If you have an automatic water dispenser change the filter and ensure the icemaker is working properly.
- Oven: Similarly to your refrigerator, your oven and stove were probably the most used appliances over the holidays. Does it feel like it takes your oven longer to warm up? If so, the rubber seal around the door could be wearing out. A proper seal helps keep the room temperature out and enables your oven to heat up and stay at the set temperature. Take a look at the rubber seal on the door as well as the fiberglass to see if it is sealing correctly. If not, replace the seal.
- Oven maintenance: While you’re looking in the oven why not clean it? If you have a self-cleaning oven, read the manufacturer directions on your oven on how to close the screen on the window and lock the door while cleaning. A self-cleaning oven may not always be the most efficient or effective. Consider using a baking soda paste of ½ cup of baking soda and 3 tablespoons of water to scrub off debris with a toothbrush.
- Note: Steer away from spray oven cleaners as the inhalation of fumes can lead to illness and difficulty breathing.
- Dishwasher: During the holidays I think we ran our dishwasher twice a day! With so many dishes and family and guests over it was necessary. Take a look in your dishwasher; are there debris and food particles at the bottom? If your dishes and glassware aren’t getting clean the drain may need to be cleared. Ensure you are removing all food and stains before loading your dishwasher.
When’s the Last Time you Vacuumed your Clothes Dryer Exhaust?
Your laundry room gets a good pounding from dirty clothes and bed/table linen throughout the fall and winter season and ensuring the washer and clothes dryer are at maximum efficiency is essential. Also, remember your clothes dryer not being maintained can affect the safety of your family home. To ensure you won’t need home appliance repairs look at these tips for your laundry room.
- Clothes Dryer: Most of us take for granted the ability of our clothes dryer removing water from clothing and leaving it fluffy warm and dry for us to wear or use everyday. Unfortunately, if you don’t pay attention to a clogged dryer exhaust pipe it could lead to inefficiency for your energy bills and worse, a house fire. Built up lint in your exhaust hose can be a fire hazard.
- Clothes Dryer maintenance: To keep your exhaust pipe clean remove the clamp that holds on the dryer hose and remove it gently from the back of your clothes dryer. Use a vacuum to remove built-up lint. Additionally, make sure everyone who uses the clothes dryer is removing the lint from the removable filter before every cycle. You’re making your machine work harder if you let the lint build up.
- Washer Machine: Over the years washing machines generally don’t have a lot of issues unless you don’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Too much detergent, too many clothes and over filling it can cause damage. If you have a front-loading washer machine it is essential to use the sanitizing cycle per the manufacturers directions. This will help prevent mold growth and foul odors that often come from front loaders.
Is your Furnace Not Heating as Well as it Used To?
During the winter months your home furnace has to work twice as hard to keep up with falling temperatures outside. This New Year make sure your furnace, vents and insulation are ready for the cold to keep your family home cozy warm this winter.
- Home Furnace maintenance: In our Hibernation Checklist I shared how to change your air filters monthly and to hire an HVAC professional to inspect your system. These two measures will ensure your system is running correctly and efficiently. Here are a few more helpful tips to ensure you’re getting the maximum benefit from your furnace:
- Are your vents clear? Many times homeowners don’t realize that vents are being blocked by furniture and simple obstructions that could impede airflow into the room. Walk through each room of your home and move furniture as necessary to create ample space for heat to flow out of the vents. If your vents are in the ceiling this may not be a factor, while if your vents are in the floor make sure your couches and entertainment center aren’t sitting on top of them!
- Home insulation: Did you know you can save almost 10% on your energy costs each year by installing the right type, and amount of insulation? Cracks and opening in your foundation can lead to air infiltration and slowly seep out your heated air. Spray insulation can be put in by walking around your home and looking around windows, doors, and foundation openings. An insulation company can install batt fiberglass insulation in your attic or basement, if you suspect your home isn’t staying warm.
This New Year’s my husband and I have vowed to tackle these home maintenance checklist items to keep our family safe, our appliances in shape and our home warm throughout the cold winter months and into the spring!
Is your home protected in case of an unforeseen problems occurs? American Home Shield can help with a home warranty. It can repair and replace all of your broken appliances and home systems.
What New Year’s home resolutions will you vow to keep this season?