Just like your car needs routine maintenance to keep it running efficiently, so does your home. Just as you take your car in for oil changes every 3,000 miles, there are things around your home that need the same kind of maintenance. Knowing what maintenance is needed and routinely checking the items that need inspection, cleaning and replacing, is the best way to protect you, your family, your investment, and costly repairs.

Pink Realty put together a checklist of items that need to be routinely inspected and maintained each year so you can keep your mechanical systems running efficiently and catch any trouble spots before they become a problem. Some maintenance items listed may be obvious, but others may not be.

To provide a common sense approach to home maintenance, we organized the checklist by season because there are definitely things you need to do to prepare for both the colder and warmer temperatures.

While this list is not all inclusive of everything that may need to be checked or maintained, feel free to add to this list depending on the different types of heating, cooling, sewer system, etc., that you may have.

 It is imperative that routine maintenance be performed on your new home. Failure to do so may lead to major defects. Here are some tips:

SUMMER

•Monitor basement humidity levels and use a dehumidifier if necessary.

•Check basement pipes for condensation or dripping.

•Check basement floor drain to make sure the trap contains water.

•Vacuum bathroom fan grilles, vent covers and clean stove hood vents.

•The filter is not the only part of your A/C unit that needs attention. The fan needs to be cleaned of dust as well. To remove the fan in your air conditioner, you must first turn off the unit. Next, remove the frame of the air conditioner, this should come off fairly easily once you’ve located the mounting points. Now take out the fan motor, it should be located right behind the fins inside the unit. You may need some tools to remove the bolts and wires holding down the fan but it shouldn’t be too difficult to remove. Once removed, check the fan, clean it off and then replace it the same way you took it off.

•Clean drier hoses and vents so they are clear from lint and dust.

•Check windows to make sure they function properly.  Washing your exterior windows won’t make much of a difference, if you don’t also wash your window screens. Take off all your window screens to your house and gently scrub them with hot soapy water. If your window screens are too filthy to be cleaned, you may just want to replace them.

•Check and replace any damaged caulking and weather stripping from around windows, doorways, and around mechanical and electrical services.

•Inspect any electrical service lines where they enter your house to ensure they are attached securely.

•Check outside wood trim and siding for any deterioration. Clean, and repair as necessary.

•This home maintenance tip isn’t necessarily just a summer chore. But it is important to clean out your garbage disposal and dishwasher every once in a while. You can easily clean out your garbage disposal by flushing it with hot water and some dish soap. To clean your dishwasher, you should add 2 cups of vinegar to the bottom of the machine and run the machine on low wash. You can also make your own garbage disposal refreshers.

•Check the condition of the roof to note any sagging, flashing issues or the need to replace any shingles. Check for any signs of leaking. Make any needed repairs.

•It’s a good idea to reverse the direction of your ceiling fan during the summer so that it spins counter-clockwise. This pushes the air straight down, creating a nice breeze. To do so, shut off the fan and wait for the blades to come to a complete stop. Once everything is still, use a ladder or step stool to locate the direction switch, this will probably be on the side of the fan above the blades. Flip the switch in the opposite direction and then turn the fan back on.

•Depending on what type of heating system, cooling system or sewage system you have, the maintenance needs may be different. The same is true for the type of siding you have and the type of roof shingles. The important thing to remember is that routine inspections, servicing, and cleaning will alert you to any repairs that are needed before extensive damage occurs. For specific mechanical systems and appliances, always check your owner's manual for their suggested routine maintenance and servicing needs.