Home Maintenance Checklist for Central TX

Sticking to a regular home maintenance schedule will ensure the longevity of your home’s value and help you to avoid costly repairs. Here’s how to stay on top of your home’s maintenance needs.

MONTHLY

HVAC. If you have pets or allergies, change out your filters monthly. Otherwise changing every 2-3 months should do the trick. Using cheaper filters is also advised, as increased air flow allows for less strain on your HVAC system.

Disposal. Get rid of that gunky disposal goo by running two cups of ice cubes through. The ice blasts the deposits away and sharpens the blades as a bonus. Follow with ½ cup baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar, and let it sit overnight.

Stove vent exhaust. You’re in for a greasy treat if you’ve never cleaned your stove vent filters. Cooking grease builds up in the vent over time. Remove the filter and clean with a degreaser such as ammonia mixed with warm water.

QUARTERLY

Fire extinguisher. Often placed under the sink and never thought about again, a fire extinguisher can be a real lifesaver in the event of a kitchen fire. A quick check to ensure the gauge shows adequate pressure is all you need to do.

Smoke/carbon dioxide detectors: Simply hit the test button. If the alarm sounds, you’re good to go. Otherwise replace the batteries and test again. Replace the unit if there is still no alarm.

Run water and flush toilets. Guest bathrooms can go months without use. Regularly running water and flushing prevents grime from building up and pea traps from drying out.

Water softener. Check your unit to see if it’s time to add salt.

Drains. Prevent clogs and smelly buildup by pouring a handful of baking soda in sink and shower drains, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Let the solution sit for a half hour, then rinse with hot water. This is also a good time to repair any damaged caulking around showers and bathtubs.

TWICE A YEAR

Water heater. Testing your hot water heaters pressure relief valve will prevent mineral and corrosion build up.

Deep clean. Dedicate a Saturday every six months to give your home a proper cleaning, including windows, appliances and dusting high and low (including those corners where central Texas spiders love to build their webs).

Refrigerator coils. Your fridge consumes 15% of your home’s energy. Vacuum the coils of the unit to ensure the motor continues to run efficiently.

Insects. Many organic alternatives are now available to help prevent those creepy crawlies from getting into your home. Ask your licensed pest control professional about alternatives to use both inside and outside the home.

ANNUALLY

Exterior check-up. Ensure your gutter connections are secure and pointed in the right direction. Clean out any gutter leaf debris and touch up paint chipped areas. Repair missing mortar between stone or brick and cracks around window sills with silicone or caulk. At the first sign of any leak, repair shingles or areas where moisture has penetrated the home to avoid a moldy mess down the road.

HVAC. Before summer hits, arrange to have you’re A/C serviced by a licensed professional. To prevent mildew or water issues, ask to have the coils cleaned and the A/C drain pipe flushed.

Rainwater catchment. Eileen Parsons with Vista Verde Builders recommends shutting down and draining pumps after each growing season. Be sure to check for adequate valve pressure periodically. Prior to freezing temps, drain the pump and open hose bibs. Parsons also advises screens and strainers be cleaned periodically throughout the year.

Winter prep. Cover and insulate outdoor spigots to prevent pipes from freezing in the fall. Winterize sprinkler systems and store your hoses.

Prevention is key! For more household tips, visit www.HillCountryBuilders.org.