5 Easy and Essential Home Maintenance Habits
Owning a home is an excellent way to build wealth—as long as your home is adequately maintained. Keeping it in prime shape, maximizing its future resale value, and extending the life of expensive appliances involves new responsibilities.
Some home maintenance tasks change with the seasons and require an hour or more to complete. But other tasks take seconds to accomplish. Here are five easy but essential jobs to put on your daily, weekly, or monthly to-do list.
1. Remove lint from the dryer trap.
When Sears Home Services surveyed homeowners about their home maintenance habits, over half of respondents (54.6%) admitted they don’t clean the lint trap after each drying cycle.
Letting lint collect in the trap increases drying time and makes your dryer work harder than necessary. Also, lint is a combustible material and a common cause of household fires.
Keep your family safe and reduce your repair and replacement bills by keeping the lint trap clean.
2. Change the air filter.
Furnaces and air conditioning units are among the most expensive appliances in your home. That’s why seasonal, professional maintenance is a worthwhile investment that will extend their life.
But you don’t need to rely on the pros to change your air filter each month. Like lint accumulation in dryer vents, dirty air filters restrict airflow and put extra pressure on furnaces and air conditioners.
This 30-second task makes it easier and less costly to heat and cool your home!
3. Clean the dishwasher food trap.
It’s best to scrape excess food from plates and bowls before loading them in the dishwasher. Even so, some food scraps are bound to collect in your dishwasher.
Dishwashers vary, but most include a filter or food trap to capture these scraps. Check your manufacturer’s owner manual to learn where your food trap is located so you can clean it as often as necessary to keep your dishwasher operating efficiently and smelling clean!
4. Keep the garbage disposal clean.
Even if you collect most of your food scraps in a trash can or a compost bucket, it’s easy for leftovers to accumulate in your garbage disposal. If ignored, the blades can become dull, making it harder for your disposal to do its job and shortening its life.
Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your garbage disposal clean that don’t require putting your hand inside the drain. Try one of these techniques:
Vinegar and baking soda – Mix a two-to-one solution of vinegar (one cup) and baking soda (half cup) and pour it into the drain. Let it fizz for about 15 minutes. Then turn on the garbage disposal and rinse with running water.
Frozen citrus peels - Save scraps of lemon or orange peels in the freezer and then run them through the disposal with running water. Grinding the peels will help remove food buildup on the blades, while the citrus oils will leave a fresh fragrance.
Water flush - Plug the drain, fill the basin with water, and add a teaspoon of dish soap. Remove the plug and run the garbage disposal until the sink drains.
5. Keep hair out of shower or bathtub drains.
Clogged drains are aggravating. They can also lead to expensive repair bills, especially if your pipes have become damaged by excessive use of corrosive drain cleaners containing hydrochloric acid.
Prevention is the best medicine. To keep hair from accumulating in your shower or bathtub drain pipes, purchase a hair catcher that fits your drain well and stays in place. They come in many shapes and sizes for every type of drain.
Then, be sure to wipe the catcher clean after every shower or bath!