It’s never too late to implement small steps to help you prepare for the inevitable surprises that go hand in hand with owning a home. Creating and sticking to a yearly maintenance schedule is an easy way to stay on top of homeownership.
- Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every January and July. By sticking to this beginning and mid-year schedule, you will never forget the last time the batteries were changed.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with more efficient models. Energy.gov states that switching to either CFLs or LEDs will save you the most on lighting costs.
Service your home’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system annually. This service will extend the life of the unit and make it operate more efficiently.
- Clean your gutters twice a year; once in the spring and again in the fall after the leaves have fallen. If you can do it only once, do it in the fall so you can head off winter ice buildup that can break the gutter system.
- Fall is a great time of year to trim back overgrown vegetation. Any vegetation against your foundation can trap moisture and welcome pests. It is always advised to leave 12-18 inches between plants and your home.
- Remove moss from walkways, driveways, and stairs in the summer. The sun will help to dry built up moss for easier removal. These areas can become slippery when wet so removing visible moss before fall is ideal.
- Even frost-free spigots aren’t always resistant to freezing. Insulate your outdoor faucets to keep them frost-proof during the cold winter months.
Debbie Orosco is an Issaquah Highlands Community Association community manager.