We’ve all known “high-maintenance” people. They constantly need attention or they begin to fall apart. Your home in the Poconos is a little bit like that (but less annoying). The fact is that homes do need constant maintenance. And by taking a little bit of time and effort to maintain your home, you can avoid some major discomfort and expense down the road. Not everything has to be done at once, but there are a number of things you’ll want to stay on top of throughout the year.
- Inspect HVAC filters—especially in the winter months. Conventional wisdom holds that you should change your filters monthly, but that may not be necessary. Inspect filers monthly and change them if they need it. There are filters that claim to last 3 months without needing to be changed, but you’re probably better off just buying the less expensive filters and checking them monthly.
- Clean your range hood filters. This is one of those tasks we tend to forget about, but you’ll be amazed at the gunk that collects in those range filters because of vaporized fats and cooling oils that pass through. Use a dish detergent that has good de-greasing capacity. Let the filters soak for a few minutes and then rinse them off.
- Check your fire extinguishers and smoke alarms. Make sure extinguishers are easy to get at. Your smoke and CO2 alarms should probably only need batteries once a year, but checking them only takes a minute and is a good safety habit.
- Check rarely used bathrooms. If you have a guest bathroom that’s seldom used, it’s a good idea to flush the toilet and run the water in the sink and tub/shower. When you do, check for leaks. Even very small leaks can cause major problems if they’re not caught.
- Inspect your water softener. This is another inspection that won’t take long. Chances are you won’t need to add salt, but it’s better to stay on top of this.
- Test your garage door. All doors installed after 1993 require an auto-reverse feature for safety. Sometimes the sensors can get skewed or blocked—and you won’t even notice. Simply place a 2x4 on the garage floor below the door and close the door. The door should automatically reverse when it strikes the board. It’s a quick and simple test that could save a child’s life.
Twice a Year
- Clean your refrigerator coils. Your refrigerator consumes a significant amount of electricity and dirty, dusty coils can make it work harder than it should. Pull the refrigerator out from the wall and vacuum the coils to keep it running efficiently. Some studies show that keeping coils clean can save up to $100 in a year!
- Change batteries in smoke and CO2 detectors. There’s a good chance your batteries will last for a year, but this is really cheap insurance. Most homeowners change batteries when beginning and ending Daylight Savings Time. It may not be exactly a 6-month time frame, but it’s easy to remember.
- A good roof should last you a good long time. But minor damage (from hail, wind, or even animals) can occur that you many not be aware of. A quick inspection can allow you to take care of a small problem before it becomes a big one.
There are, of course a number of other small maintenance activities that you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape—but this list is a good start.
If you ever get to feeling that your current home is too “high-maintenance,” you might want to think about a new home in the Poconos that’s easier to take care of—and fits your current needs better. Check out these photos for some great ideas for a new Poconos home.