Even with the milder-winters that we live for in Southern California, there are still maintenance duties we should keep on top of to ensure that our home sweet home stays that way, a sweet home.
Annual furnace maintenance is mandatory for ensuring its optimal working condition.
A poorly maintained and/or inefficient furnace could be costing you huge amounts of money and could prove to be a safety risk.
We highly recommend that annual service be completed by a certified HVAC or other heating specialists. Some of the main things they should do in this annual service include but are not limited to the following:
1- Replacing the furnace’s air filter
2- Cleaning its burners
3- Clearing vent lines
4- Checking for any small leaks
5- Cleaning the exterior
6- Monitoring its efficiency and performance
The attic is an integral part of your home that needs to be visually inspected annually.
Problematic attics can lead to health hazards and/or expensive repairs mostly caused by water or mold damage. Inspecting an attic doesn’t take long and requires almost no specialized expertise.
The main thing you should be looking for are signs of water damage. Is any wood warped or water-stained? Are there any wood surfaces that are cracked or sagging? If the answer to either of these is YES, you should contact a roofing/attic specialist immediately. Water seepage is akin to slow-acting poison for a home’s structure. Pay special attention to areas around chimneys, roof vents, and skylights for signs of water damage as they are often quite vulnerable.
Proper ventilation is also key in an attic. If there are any roof vents, blockages caused by nests or leaves are common. Make sure to clear these out by hand. Furthermore, make sure that all of the pipes and ductwork that run through the attic are properly connected and are correctly venting to the outside. If you have an attic fan, test that it’s functioning properly.
Gutters need to be cleared of leaves and debris that may have accumulated in order to function properly.
Clogged gutters can wreak havoc on your roof, siding, and foundation. These repairs can be extremely expensive.
Many homeowners opt into a service contract with a gutter cleaning company that schedules twice a year. We recommend these plans because they are typically affordable and there is potential danger involved with accessing the gutters on many homes. Generally these specialists will get up on a ladder and check & clear the gutters & downspouts of debris. Clearing them can often be challenging due to baked-on foliage (spring) or frozen leaves (winter) attached to the insides of the channels, so if you are doing this yourself, make sure you have a good ladder and a spotter helping you out. Water is generally run through the system after the channels are cleared. Make sure that all of your downspouts are extended away from the foundation at the ground level. Often, it may be necessary to regrade your soil in some spots so that all water is directed away from your home.
Smoke & CO Alarms
It’s time to change the batteries in all of your CO Detector and Smoke Alarms.
Do we really need to tell you why?
It’s a good idea to synchronize changing your smoke and CO detector batteries with the changing of the clocks. Once the new batteries are in, hit the “test button” to make sure the alarm is functioning properly. If it isn’t working properly, run (don’t walk) to your nearest hardware store and replace it. Vacuum dust off of the units and wipe clean if necessary.
If you have a CO detector that plugs into the wall, most are good for 5-7 years and should be replaced after that time frame.
Fireplaces should be inspected and/or swept once a year to prevent fire damage and to keep your home safe.
Like your mother always told you, you don’t ever want to play with fire.
To be sure that all of your systems are in working order and operating as they should, it is recommended that homeowners get an annual chimney inspection. The specialist will generally open and adjust your damper, caulk the flashing on the roof if needed, and clean & adjust the fireplace screens & doors. They will also generally check the condition of the chimney spark arrestor and clean the fire chamber. Most chimney sweep companies will put you on an annual inspection plan once you work with them. During this inspection, they will tell you if it’s time to sweep. Many homeowners opt to have a chimney cleaning done every year as well at this time, especially if they use their fireplace on a regular basis.
Pest & Insect Inspection
Everyone is interested in keeping their home pest free.
You don’t want your best friend to discover that you have pests before you do.
Having a Pest Inspection done once a year will give you the peace of mind you deserve. Professionals will spend some time poking around every corner of your home, crawl space, attic, and yard to give you a full assessment of your situation. If you get a clean bill of health, consider signing up for a quarterly (or more frequent if necessary) preemptive spraying plan to combat any future issues. Generally, the pest experts will spray the perimeter of your home with commercial grade insecticides that will keep your home pest and insect free. We recommend these types of plans because they are generally quite cost-effective and save you from the anxiety of having an infestation at some point.
Most refrigerators require simple maintenance you can do yourself.
It will keep your fridge running like new and can greatly extend the life & efficiency of your unit.
Here are a few easy things you can do every year. – Clean your cooling coils by vacuuming or dusting them. This will most likely require you to remove a grill grate or cover. Refer to your user manual if you need help finding them. – Replace or clean the water filter if your fridge has an automatic ice maker or water dispenser. Refer to your owners manual for the proper procedure as their location can vary. – Clean door gaskets with a wet cloth to make sure that the refrigerator is sealing properly. A solid seal will save you money and protect your food from spoilage.