By: Daniela Baker
You already know that maintaining your car by changing the oil when you should, checking tire pressure regularly, and getting an engine tune-up once in a while is a great way to save money by preventing further expensive repairs down the road.
However, you may not think about similar things you can do in your home that can help you save money in the long run. Making a list of basic home maintenance tasks that are often overlooked will help you remember to do them on a regular basis and will allow you to prioritize appropriately. Here are just a few of the essential tasks you should do on a monthly basis:
1. Change heating and air conditioning filters.
Changing the filters can make your heating and air conditioning systems more effective, which means you save money on cooling and heating your home. When you change the filters, vacuum out the ducts immediately around them, too, which can prevent the next filters from getting clogged as easily and can keep excess dust particles from floating around in the air.
2. Clean out the lint from the clothes dryer.
Every time you dry a load of laundry, you should be cleaning out the lint screen. However, you also want to pull the dryer away from the wall and clean out the actual hose once a month. Also, check the outside vent to make sure it’s clear, too. This can save you money by keeping the dryer from heating up your home excessively, and it can also cut down on your risk of having a house fire, since a clogged dryer vent is the number one cause of fires in the home.
3. Check out your windows, walls, and doorjambs.
It’s in these locations that you’ll find cracks and other signs of a problem with the foundation. The earlier you catch this type of problem, the better off you’ll be, so make it a habit to visually and manually check these areas once a month.
[Mortgage Help: Get your free credit report and see if your credit score is mortgage qualified]4. Check for mildew, and take care of it immediately.
Check for mildew in places where it might build up easily, like around the bathtub, in the kitchen, and in other damp areas, like the basement. Take care of mold with a bleach solution as soon as possible. If there’s mold on the drywall that’s dark or prevalent, it may be a good idea to call in a mold remediation expert. It’s an expense you’ll have to pay now, but it can keep you from having to replace entire rooms of drywall (and maybe more) later.
5. Clean the refrigerator coils.
These coils can get a build up of dust on them, which makes them run less efficiently. When you clean the coils, you can save money on your monthly electric bills!
6. Clean the carpets.
Invest in a steam carpet cleaner that doesn’t necessarily require chemicals for cleaning the carpets. You can avoid using harsh chemicals that actually attract more dirt by filling the steam cleaner with a solution of water and vinegar. Deep cleaning your carpets regularly can keep them from wearing out as quickly, so you have to replace your carpet less often.
Just make sure you get a carpet cleaner that has optional spinning motion on the brushes. If you’re cleaning once a month or so, it’s a good idea to turn off the spinning motion so you’re just extracting dirt from the carpet and not wearing on the actual fibers.
This is just a quick list of things you can do monthly to keep your house in ship shape and to save you money on overall home maintenance tasks in the long run. Try adding one or two of these tasks to your weekly to-do list so that you spread them out throughout the month, which makes getting them done practically effortless.
Daniela Baker is a Social Media Advocate with CreditDonkey, a website that helps you find the best credit card for your lifestyle.